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Aussie man arrested in Malaysia for alleged drug trafficking

AUSTRALIA — A man has been arrested in Kuala Lumpur after allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine, heroin and cannabis from the United Arab Emirates to Australia, a police official said on Tuesday.

A Malaysian police officer told the AFP news agency that a drug suspect had been arrested at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur’s international airport in the Malaysian capital on Tuesday evening.

The suspect, who was identified as Ahmad Abdul Ghaffar, was later identified as a Malaysian citizen, the police official, who asked not to be identified, said.

The AFP news service reported that the drug suspect, a 39-year-old Malaysian, was arrested by police officers on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur and taken to a police station in the city.

The Malaysian police official told AFP that he was arrested after being caught trying to smuggles cocaine, which is a class A drug in Malaysia, and drugs of a similar strength, the AFP said.

A spokesman for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) told AFP he could not confirm whether the suspect was a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, but he would not be able to comment further.

The DEA said in a statement that the agency had been in touch with the Malaysian authorities on Tuesday, adding that they would assist in the investigation.

“We continue to urge the Malaysian government to work with law enforcement to address these ongoing drug trafficking issues,” the statement said.

Malaysia has seen a rise in drug trafficking since last year, with at least 11 people killed in drug-related incidents since the start of the year.

Authorities have also increased security around airports and major international travel hubs, including Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where two people were killed on Tuesday when they were shot by a man in a taxi.