GENTING HIGHLANDS: The police and the Customs Department have formed five joint committees to tackle multiple crimes, including the smuggling of illicit cigarettes, drugs and other contraband, said Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
The Inspector-General of Police said the cooperation will lead to more joint operations, including nabbing tonto (syndicate informants) who have disrupted Customs’ operations in the past.
“Our cooperation will also involve more information-sharing between the two departments.
“We will not be working in silos or isolation.
“The joint committees will meet regularly to iron out details and coordinate joint operations between the two departments,” he told a press conference after a two-day meeting between the top leaderships of the two departments, which ended yesterday.
As for the tonto issue, the IGP gave his assurance that the police will take proactive steps in assisting the Customs in their operations.
Among other facets of the cooperation between the two teams will be to deal with Malaysian drug mules nabbed overseas, Mohamad Fuzi added.
“For example, when a Malaysian drug mule is arrested by Hong Kong Customs officers, then the police would be the one asked on the matter.
“With the cooperation, Customs can assist by getting information from their Hong Kong counterpart,” Mohamad Fuzi said.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy said the police have also agreed to provide more security for Customs officers manning the border checkpoints nationwide.
“We are grateful for the cooperation as both departments are focused on combating crimes,” he said.
The department will also step up their operations against the smuggling of illicit cigarettes and alcoholic beverages – two problems that are on the rise in the country.
“We have identified the syndicates involved in the smuggling of contraband,” he added.
Subromaniam also said amendments to the Customs Act 1967 and the Excise Act 1976 had already taken effect, which carries a minimum of RM100,000 fine for those convicted of selling illicit cigarettes.
“It applies to those who even sells only one box of smuggled cigarettes or a case of liquor.
“Six cases have been prosecuted and the culprits convicted.
“We have several other cases where trial is pending,” said Subromaniam.
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