21 July 2020
The Customs Department (JKDM) have crippled attempts to smuggle 456.03 million sticks of cigarettes worth RM37.33 million, from January to June this year, and successfully prevented duty leakage amounting to RM337.5 million.
Customs director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir said a total of 804 cases involving seizures of kretek and white cigarettes, were smashed by the department in the first half of the year, including 40 cases during Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The modus operandi was to fabricate port documents and declarations to confuse the authorities,“ he said during a press conference after launching a van for accused persons (OKT) , here, today.
According to Abdul Latif, supplies of contraband cigarettes in the market dropped during MCO, causing the price to reach RM10 per packet.
He said in the same period last year (2019), a total of 236.2 million sticks of cigarettes worth RM19.52 million, involving tax worth RM174.78 million, were stopped from being smuggled in by the department.
On drug smuggling, Abdul Latif said Customs have busted 115 cases in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the first half of the year.
He said the department would also be receiving 20 cargo screening machines worth RM235 million at the end of this year, to be placed in strategic port and airport entry points.
“The utilisation of the highly sophisticated screening machines is necessary due to the various smuggling methods, including using the body, electronic equipment as well as by inserting drug powder into ‘three in one’ pre-mixed drink to confuse enforcement officers,“ he said.
The use of tracker dogs is also important in curbing smuggling activities and about 40 tracker dogs owned by the department are now being placed in border stations such as Padang Besar, Bukit Kayu Hitam, Johor Bahru checkpoints and KLIA, he said.
Regarding the OKT vehicle, Abdul Latif said 12 units would be used by the department’s enforcement division at headquarters, zone and state levels, with a maximum capacity of 13 individuals comprising 10 accused persons and three officers including driver.
He said the vehicles, which are equipped with metal grill and surveillance cameras, to ensure the safety of the accused, escorting personnel and driver while on the move. — Bernama