SIBU: Police believe they scored a major success last Thursday when, with the help of the Health Department, they arrested a foreign doctor who was in possession of 12,000 unregistered Nospan cough tablets.
Sibu police chief ACP Shafie Ismail said Nospan, though used to treat dry cough, was classified as scheduled poison, and can only be sold with permission from the Health Ministry to prevent abuse.
The seizure during the raid was the largest according to Shafie who said abuse of the drug came to their attention after two local schools complained about their students being involved.
He said Thursday’s efforts were their follow-up clampdown on the problem.
He said the police had been watching the doctor from India, and finally closed their net in a coffee shop where he was having dinner with his family.
“More than 4,000 of the unregistered tablets were seized from him.
“After that, we seized 8,000 at his house in Jalan Ulu Oya,” he said.
The police also went to his clinic in Selangau and found 8,000 more tablet, but they were registered ones.
Shafie said they were determining whether the 48-year-old suspect was a supplier of the drug in town.
“We believe he has been selling the tablets in bulk,” he said, adding that the doctor had been released on police bail.
“His local wife has been brought in to help in our investigation.”
As for the drug, he said a sample had been sent for chemical analysis.
“We are now investigating the case under Section 30(3) of the Dangerous Drugs Act.”
Last July, Shafie caused a stir when he revealed that 27 students, including 18 girls, had been taken in for counselling after they were caught abusing the controlled tablets.
He said this came about after they received complaints from two schools here.
“We are now giving priority attention to such offences to prevent more teenagers from turning into drug abusers.”
Apart from counselling the students, the police have also gone to popular spots frequented by teenagers to do drug checks.
Shafie said yesterday after their all-out action there had was no more complaint from the schools.
A pharmacist in town said such tablets could be sold for as little as RM1 each.
The police chief confirmed that students had used them as an alternative drug because of the cheap price.
An abuse of such drug will cause the users hallucination, vomiting, drowsiness and sleepiness.
bp online 5/9/2008