More than 100 police officers have tested positive for drugs in an operation conducted in every police contingent since Aug 13, said Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador (photo, above) yesterday.
He said he was shocked by the number of policemen whose urine tests in Ops Blue Devil were positive for various drugs, particularly syabu, indicating that drug abuse in the police force was at a critical and serious level.
Of the 100 addicts traced in the operation between Aug 13 and yesterday, 86 tested positive for syabu, six for amphetamines and opiates, two for cannabis (ganja) and one for ketamine.
"If police personnel, given the responsibility and trust to enforce the law, are themselves involved in such activities, what is going to happen to the country?" he said.
Referring to the incidence of drug abuse among the police force in Latin America, Abdul Hamid said a thorough drug eradication effort must be undertaken in Malaysia.
He added that the operation to trace errant personnel would continue, with instructions given to the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department director Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd not to give the operation a rest.
The police chief noted that personnel involved in drug abuse were also suspected of committing extortion and bribery, with foreign workers as their victims.
"They are my targets (personnel involved in drugs), apart from certain groups in units within the force... there is evidence that this is the actual situation," he said, adding that drug addiction costs a lot of money and given the low salaries of policemen, they were bound to look for illegal sources of money.
The operation aimed at cleansing the force of corrupt elements and improving integrity was also used to facilitate sting operations on drug-producing laboratories, drug traffickers and addicts, he said, explaining that this initiative was anticipated to make a significant impact on ongoing drug eradication efforts.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Mohd Khalil said a total of 3,438 policemen had undergone urine tests in Ops Blue Devil.
He said the officers who had tested positive would face legal charges just like members of the public, and this would entail going through police investigations, followed by court action.