JOHOR BARU: A drug laboratory that passed itself off as a frozen food factory in Pekan Nenas was uncovered following a fire on Monday afternoon.
The fire broke out at the back portion of the two-storey building in the Pekan Nenas New Industrial Estate, located opposite the former Immigration detention centre.
Quick action by firemen prevented the blaze from engulfing the building.
Checks revealed a substantial amount of syabu and ecstasy pills that were not destroyed in the fire.
Also found were more than 20 barrels believed to have contained highly flammable liquid.
Police cordoned off the area fearing that the smoke emanating from the premises might be toxic.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Shariff said no frozen food was found inside the factory.
"Preliminary investigations showed that the factory was used as a drug laboratory.
"We found at least RM10 million worth of syabu and ecstasy pills as well as drug-making apparatus.
"We have identified the culprits behind this operation but no one has been arrested yet."
The top floor of the building was used as an office while the front portion of the factory was vacant and big enough to park a bus.
Pekan Nenas Fire and Rescue Station head Mohd Azrai Yahya said the fire was reported at 1.30pm and 12 firemen in two fire engines took about 50 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
"The fire started at the back portion of the building, where we found at least 20 barrels containing highly flammable liquid," he said, adding there was no one in the building.
According to a neighbouring factory worker, there were movements in the building at nights.