The eight packets of white powder or crystal-like substance weighed around four kilogrammes and valued around RM1 million in the market.
Malaysian Customs deputy director-general Dato’ Hj Matrang Suhaili said this was the largest drug bust by the Sabah Customs Department this year.
Matrang said the suspect originated from Kuala Lumpur and information had shown that he had come to Sabah twice before he was arrested.
Customs enforcement officers at KKIA Terminal Two were monitoring the passengers arriving from Kuala Lumpur on an AirAsia flight at 9.30am on November 18, when they noticed a suspicious male passenger.
The suspect was instructed to present his luggage for scanning and was asked to open it for further inspection.
The enforcement officer found eight packets of crystal-like substance, each weighing half a kilogramme, wrapped with aluminum foil, hidden among folds of women clothing.
Matrang said the man had been remanded and the case would be investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence if convicted.
He said initial investigation found that an African man had handed the luggage to the suspect at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal Two before boarding the flight to Kota Kinabalu.
“We believe the suspect wanted to bring the drugs into Kota Kinabalu to supply the local underground market.”
Matrang also said that Sabah Customs Department had busted two drug cases with seizures worth more than RM1.33 million in market value. One of the cases carried the death penalty.