KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A total of 702,319 people were arrested for drug-related offences between 2014 and October 2017, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said based on the Royal Malaysia Police’s statistics, 21,731 of those arrested were drug traffickers picked up under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

Sixty-eight of them were kingpins and 27,914 others were foreigners, he told a press conference after chairing the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on the Eradication of Drugs (JKMD) at the Parliament House here yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said during the period, RM346 million worth of drug dealing paraphernalia were seized, while RM46 million worth of drugs were forfeited.

He said those arrested under the Preventive Detention Measures numbered 3,968; while 3,336 others were detained and 252, restricted.

In a statement issued after the press conference, Ahmad Zahid said the meeting had focused on the implementation of a more serious action to eradicate and combat the threats of drugs to achieve the government’s aspiration to protect the people from falling victims to drug-related crime.

He said six proposals and two informative papers were discussed, including on the outcome of the enforcement programme, new approaches and solutions to drug problems, as well as on the setting up of an integration school at the National Anti-Drug Agency (NADA) rehabilitation centre.

This JKMD’s meeting is the meeting of the highest committee set up under the Prime Minister’s Directive No.1 of 2004, apart from the three action committees which will be reporting to the JKMD, he said.

The deputy prime minister said the National Drug Policy was passed by the Cabinet on March 10, 2017, and was coordinated by the NADA.

He said the policy stated, among others, that the powers of enforcement and implementation were placed under 10 main ministries and 15 departments and agencies.