Earlier this week, several local news outlets and gossip portals reported that three individuals – a 28yo actor, a 49yo director, and also a 47yo assistant director – were arrested on suspicion of drug abuse in a raid on a house in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, this past weekend.
According to Kuala Kangsar OCPD ACP Omar Bakhtiar Yaacob, they were arrested by a team of officers from the Kuala Kangsar District Police Headquarters (IPD)’s Criminal Investigation unit, with the assistance from members of the Kuala Kangsar Police Station at 7:15am.
Omar Bakhtiar revealed in a press statement, “Inspections on the three rooms of the house led to the discovery of cannabis and syabu estimated to be worth about RM270.” As per The Star, three suspects, who were all tested positive for drugs, were taken to the Kuala Kangsar IPD for further investigation.
In a separate report by NST, preliminary urine test on the actor and director revealed to be positive for THC or Tetra Hydrocannibol. Meanwhile, the assistant director tested positive for THC or Tetra Hydrocannibol. Based on further investigation, it was also revealed that the aforesaid director had a previous record related to drugs.
In a media report published on Monday (11th October), the executive producer from the production house Zamriez Golden Pictures Sdn Bhd, Syafiqa Zamri, confirmed that actor Niezam Zaidi was among those nabbed by the police over his involvement in the drug abuse allegation. Not only that, Syafiqa stated that she had decided to drop the director and assistant director from the production lineup.
As revealed by Shafiqa, the crew have already finished filming the scenes in Kuala Kangsar on Saturday, and they were supposed to go back to Kuala Lumpur to resume the shooting there. She also stated that the “Budak Pailang” star was no longer involved in the production, as he had already finished filming his parts. That being said, the actor, along with the two other suspects, opted to remain in the homestay instead.
“I refuse to comment further on the arrest. I’ll just leave it to the authorities to handle the case. We also have no intention to bail the suspects out. Instead, we decided to immediately drop their names from the production team. Additionally, we won’t be offering any roles to the actor involved in the drug abuse case. Fortunately, he had already completed his parts in the film,” Shafiqa told the press.
The identity of the two remaining individuals were not disclosed specifically by the executive producer. However, Shafiqa stated that the filming of the telemovie is only 30% left. Due to this case, however, the shooting process had to be postponed momentarily. The production house is also currently looking for suitable replacements to take over the roles as the director and also the assistant.
In a more recent update on the case, it was revealed that Niezam pleaded guilty in the Magistrate’s Court on charges of cannabis possession last Sunday. As reported by Utusan, the actor made the confession after the charge was read to him in front of Magistrate Mohd. Shazmeer Zamhari. The prosecution was filed under Section 6 of the Dangerous Drugs Act (ADB) 1952 which provides for a maximum jail term of five years or a maximum fine of RM20,000, if convicted.
During the proceeding, director Mohd Latiff Zami Saiful Zaidrin Ismail also pleaded guilty to possession of 0.30 grams of cannabis and 0.38 grams of methamphetamine respectively. The two were charged with committing the act at the same location, time and date. Latiff (also known as Yeop Hitler) was charged under Section 6 of ADB 1952.
Meanwhile, Saiful Zaidrin was charged under Section 12 (2) of the same Act and can be sentenced under Section 12 (3) of the same Act. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum fine of RM100,000 or imprisonment for not more than than five years or both.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Syuhada Muhammad Lutfi offered bail of RM6,000 with one surety to Niezam and Latiff and RM8,000 to Saiful Zaidrin. However, lawyer Intan Shafini Mior Shahrin from the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK) applied for bail to be reduced to a minimum rate as the three defendants do not have a fixed income, and were affected by the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Niezam, Latiff and Saiful Zaidrin were later granted bail of RM3,000, RM2,600 and RM3,200 respectively. In addition, the court has set 1st December for the next mention of the case.