Bernas submits papers for rice held up at ports

  • Nation
  • Friday, 24 Dec 2004

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Customs has received documents from Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) here pertaining to the imports of 1,386 tonnes of rice worth RM891,000, its director Hassan Arshad said.  

The rice, in 66 containers, has been held up in Tawau, Sandakan and here for the last two weeks because it did not have an approved permit (AP). 

“We've just received the documents from Bernas and are still cross checking them with the amount of rice seized,” Hassan told reporters after attending the department's year-end gathering here. 

The department would also investigate to see whether the amount is within the import quota for Sabah. 

To another question, Hassan said the seizure did not affect the supply of rice in the state. 

The amount was part of some 17,000 tonnes of rice worth RM56mil being held at six ports throughout the country due to “technicalities”. 

Bernas chief executive Ahmad Fuad Abdul Wahab was reported to have said last week that the rice was neither being held nor seized, but was stored at the ports' free trade zone pending the issuance of the AP. 

Meanwhile, Hassan said the department would submit to the state government an application for a piece of land to house the department's complex in Sabah. 

“We want to have a complex that has good facilities in line with the important role the department plays in preventing customs fraud and at the same time collecting revenue for the nation,” he said. 

He said the task was becoming more challenging each day because the state bordered Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei and also because of the increase in the number of flights, many of which came direct from overseas. 

“We are also hoping to fill some 50 more vacancies in Sabah to beef up our capabilities,” he said. – Bernama  

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