A Penangite suspected to be the key member of a drug syndicate has been described as a brutal enforcer who never hesitated to mete out punishment, including torturing any members of the syndicate who failed to carry out his orders.
The 44-year old man was nabbed at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, two days ago by heavily armed Thai Police before he boarded a flight back to Malaysia.
According to a Thai Police source who was involved in the interrogation of the Penang-man said, the man beat and tortured friends of two syndicate members who failed in their attempt to smuggle drugs into Malaysia, late last year.
"He beat and tortured their (syndicate members') friends and sent the chilling images of the torture via smartphone to the two syndicate members after finding out their failure to smuggle drugs to Malaysia," said the source who declined to reveal his identity due to the sensitive information he shared with Bernama today.
The two Malaysian syndicate members were nabbed by the Thai Police in December last year in Chumphon, southern Thailand with 140 bars of heroin weighing 52.4kg and 41.9kg of crystal methamphetamine stashed in their car.
The final destination of the drugs was supposed to be Penang.
The police, the source said, knew the car which was used by the two Malaysians to transport the drugs as it was bought by the Penang-man in Bangkok, adding the man was also implicated with the discovery of 87kg of 'Ice' in a Hatyai house in January this year.
"His arrest (in Suvarnabhumi Airport) two days ago was a culmination of police efforts since late last year," he said adding that the man who was described as a "big fish" has been under continuous surveillance by the authorities ever since he arrived in Thailand about two weeks ago.
The source also disclosed that the Penang-man speaks fluent Thai and maintained an exclusive condominium in Bangkok which he shared with his girlfriend and he carried a pistol whenever he was in Thailand, for protection from any threat.
"He also has a fake Thai identity card," he said adding that the man led a wealthy lifestyle when in Thailand.
The Penang-man according to the source, was in the Fang district in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand recently, to order drugs but the negotiations with an unidentified party failed to materialise, prompting him to fly back to Bangkok and the subsequent arrest by Thai Police two days ago.
The source also said the suspect admitted he travelled to Thailand at least 10 times a year to conduct his drug dealing activities.
Besides that, he also confessed during interrogation that he had been in drug dealing activities for over 20 years and had been imprisoned by Malaysian authorities twice for drug-related offences.
The Penang-man was brought to the Criminal Court today under heavy escort from the police for remand.
His arrest followed another high-profile arrest of a Malaysian dubbed "Mr T" from Johor, who is also suspected to be a key member of an international drug syndicate last Wednesday at the Hatyai airport.