Cigarettes worth RM1.1 million with unpaid duties of RM6.6 million were seized after the customs department foiled 126 smuggling attempts at the Malaysia-Thailand border this year.
Kelantan Royal Malaysian Customs Department director Mohd Rakbi Mat Saud said the 126 cases showed a 25 per cent drop compared to the 168 cases recorded in the same period last year.
“We found that smugglers used a new modus operandi by bringing in the supply of cigarettes to the state via national waters.
“They would carry the goods by ship via the sea and then transfer them to small boats to bring the contraband into the state,” he told reporters after the department’s get-together with the media here today.
Mohd Rakbi said it was difficult for the department to make arrests and take action against the owner or seller of the contraband cigarettes despite the seizures.
“When the items were seized, the owners were nowhere to be found. These days the cigarettes are no longer stored in business premises or houses but are hidden in places like farms and chicken coops,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency