PHOTO: Part of the drug haul seized by the AFP – Australia’s ABC News
Malaysia’s Malindo Air have been caught up un an international drug smuggling case as some of their air crew are now accused of helping to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine worth millions of dollars from Asia to Australian cities.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) have now arrested two flight team members along with six other people. The arrests are the result of a six month investigation codenamed Operation Sunrise.
According to the AFP, flight attendants from Malaysia’s Malindo Air, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air, have been smuggling in drugs on their persons on behalf of a Melbourne-based Vietnaese crime syndicate.
One of the investigation’s “key players” say they had made at least 20 such trips.
In a statement, the airline says… “Malindo Air stands ready to co-operate with all the relevant authorities be it in Australia or in Malaysia in this regard, The cabin crew member has also been suspended with immediate effect pending termination.”
The AFP investigation has targeted a highly organised Vietnamese crime syndicate based in Melbourne and operating out of Australia’s second biggest city for up to five years. They say the syndicate is responsible for the importation of high-grade heroin and methamphetamine from Malaysia.
“8 kilograms of heroin was seized in the operation and has a street value of AUD$14.5 million. This equates to 42,000 street deals, in real terms,” say the AFP.
“A further 6 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of AUD$6.5 million was also seized during seven raids on properties in Melbourne and its suburbs, along with half a kilogram of cocaine, a Porsche sports car and a “significant quantity” of cash.”
Investigators say that the quantity of illegal drugs seized in the operation is significant but “not the total amount of drugs”.
Malindo Air started operations in 2013 and operates out of the Kuala Lumpur serving several Australian destinations. It currently operates 800 flights weekly to over 40 regional and international destinations.
SOURCE: CNN | Australian Federal Police
Die! Die! Korean Air ‘nut rage’ heiress assaults husband in video
by The Korea Herald – Asia News Network
A video clip showing a woman who appears to be Cho Hyun-ah, formerly Korean Air vice-president, shouting at her husband, and photos showing his injuries has been revealed.
In the video, the woman shouts “Die! Die!” at her husband, surnamed Park, who filed for divorce last year citing physical and verbal abuse against him and their twin sons.
Photos released along with the video show injuries to the man’s neck – apparently strangle marks.
The photos and video footage, which aired on KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), were submitted to the court as evidence by Park, who filed a complaint against Cho for assault and other charges on Tuesday.
Cho said Park was making false accusations to gain the upper hand in their divorce proceedings. She also accused him of destroying their marriage with his negligence of their children and addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Read the rest of this story HERE.
Read more about the original ‘nut rage’ incident HERE.
Students are dropping out along Cambodia’s border with Thailand
A Cambodian official has reported that about 23% of children in three provinces along the border with Thailand have stopped attending school.
The Cambodian Education Minister Hangchuon Naron was speaking about the student dropout rate. He said that the rate in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Oddor Meanchey provinces was much higher than in other areas, where rates are 18 to 19 percent.
The education minister blamed poverty and parents who move to Thailand for work as the main reasons for the problem.
Cambodia’s education ministry has begun training teachers to advise students to stay in school, while letting them choose their own study subjects. Teachers are also to advise students whose parents work abroad about the importance of education.
“So if teachers advise the students (to stay in school) that will help them to make the right decision. They could explain to those students that they need to pursue their studies successfully and then find local jobs as well.”
But critics have expressed concern about the education ministry’s plan.
President of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Ouk Chay Vy, says the plan fails to deal with the issues that cause students to drop out of school in the first place.
She says those reasons are poverty resulting from unemployment and a lack of land for farming. She noted that, in Cambodia, many students stop going to school because they need to work to support their families.
Ouk Chay Vy said a better plan would be for the government to try to increase the number of jobs so that citizens could have better living conditions.
“If the government could give them help, it would still not be enough,” she added.
Suon Sinuon is a farmer from Banteay Meanchey. She said that three of her children dropped out of school while they were in the sixth and ninth grades. They went to Thailand to work and help support the family.
She said that the children did not want to stop going to school, but had no other choice because of the family’s needs.
“Others who have enough money don’t let their children migrate, but me, I am so poor that I had to let them go work in Thailand.”
Radio Free Asia reported this story. Jonathan Evans adapted the report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor. VOA partners with The Thaiger for weekend radio news.
Better analysis needed to track down the source of new chemicals in illicit drugs
The Office of Narcotics Control Board has been training personnel in drug analysis to handle new illicit substances coming onto the streets.
A Chinese analysis lab has recently discovered 230 new psychotropic substances which are making their way into recreational drugs and other foods.
China has subsequently banned several beverages and sweets that contain these new illegal substances.
Thailand’s Justice Minister Prajin Juntong says that better analysis was key in drug prevention and suppression, as it helped identify the sources of the precursor chemicals. Each source used different formulae or ingredients, he said.
“New chemicals that were not used in narcotics before, and not listed in official databases, are now being used. So each confiscated batch will no longer be destroyed right away but be analysed first.”
“Lab tests are time-consuming and require new technology to ensure tests can keep up with the drug trade. This information was shared globally.”
He reported that Thailand has been cooperating with Australia, China and Singapore and other ASEAN countries in sharing knowledge and analysis techniques.
“Thailand usually serves as a transit country for narcotic smuggling to a third country.”
China’s National Narcotics Control Commission analyst Liu Peipei says her agency recently found 230 new psychoactive substances that could yield “highs”, but had different ingredients from heroin, methamphetamine and other common drugs.
“Recently China has banned the sale of a beverage contaminated with a narcotic that may be harmful to consumers. We also found THC (the active chemical in cannabis) in chocolate and jelly,” she said.
SOURCE: The Nation
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