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Drugs worth $161 million seized in Malaysia's biggest haul

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KUALALUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian authorities on Friday said they had seized nearly 3.7 tonnes of ketamine and cocaine worth about $161 million (£131.7 million) in the country’s biggest drugs haul to date.

Malaysia is a key transit point for illegal narcotics, with authorities seizing record amounts of crystal methamphetamine in the past year.

About 467 kg (0.47 tonnes) of ketamine stored in sacks were found at a shophouse in Puncak Alam, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, during a joint raid by customs and police on Aug. 18, Customs director general Paddy Abdul Halim told reporters.

The discovery was followed by the arrest and interrogation of suspects who then led the team to another shop, where 3,200 kg (3.2 tonnes) of cocaine was found.

The ketamine was believed to have been shipped to Malaysia from Pakistan, while the cocaine originated from Ecuador, Paddy said.

“Initial investigations show that the suspected drugs were meant for export to a third country,” he said.

The drugs confiscated were estimated to be worth about 676 million ringgit ($161.41 million), he said.

Authorities detained four Malaysians and nine foreigners during the operation.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Michael Perry)

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