The cook of a nasi kandar eatery in Perak has been arrested after customers reported that the food there caused them to hallucinate.
The Sultana Nasi Kandar outlet in Teluk Intan was raided by the State Health Department and the Royal Malaysia Police on Wednesday (Jan 20) following complaints from diners who said they felt “weak” and saw “hallucinations” after dining there on Feb 17, Bernama reported.
In particular, one of the diners was a police officer in the narcotics department familiar with the side effects of various drugs, The Star reported.
The cook, as well as two Bangladeshi assistants, were arrested in the raid, Bernama said in a second report. The three, aged 30 to 70 years old, tested positive for opiates.
Opiates are a type of drug made from opium, which is in turn made from poppies.
Police also seized a packet of poppy seeds, as well as several cooked dishes, from the eatery, which it sent to Department of Chemistry for analysis, Bernama quoted Hilir Perak deputy police chief Yahaya Hassan as saying.
While poppy seeds are legal in Malaysia and often used as a spice in traditional dishes, they do contain traces of morphine that can result in people feeling “high” after consuming a significant quantity of them, The Straits Times (ST) reported previously.
In addition, eating poppy seeds could result in a person testing positive for drugs, ST quoted KL Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department chief Wan Abdullah Ishak as saying.
Wan Abdullah added that even if the cause for the test’s positive result was poppy seeds, individuals could still be charged.
Under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, the penalty for drug consumption is up to two years’ jail or a fine of RM5,000 (US$1,226).
The Health Ministry added that it would monitor the restaurant until the investigation concluded, Bernama said.