Maran District Police Headquarters, Pahang, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

A 25-year-old illegal Indonesian migrant was arrested in Pahang, Malaysia on Thursday afternoon for selling illicit substances after the seizure of more than 170 bottles of stimulant herbal drink.

At 1pm on April 4, officers from Maran District Police raided a location on the second floor of a shophouse in the industrial area of ​​Bandar Jengka, Maran, where the suspect, who was also found to have entered the country illegally, was selling ketum tea which could cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants, the China Press reported.

At the time of his arrest, a total of 255 liters, or around 170 bottles of ketum tea, were seized from the unit. It was reported that the man sold each 1.5 liter bottle for 1,500 ringgit (US$366).

Last June the same premises were raided under suspicion of being a ketum tea laboratory, but no arrests were made.

Recent investigations suggested that the premises were about to become active again as a front for the sale of ready-to-drink ketum tea, which targeted customers primarily in Maran but it also attracted buyers coming from other areas, including Temerloh, Jerantut and Bentong.

The Indonesian has now been remanded for 14 days to allow further investigations to be carried out under Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952, as well as under Section 6 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 because he did not have a valid pass or permit to stay in the country.

Police are also looking for a 50-year-old local man who was believed to be the true distributor of the addictive herbal drink.

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