KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman Marine Operations Force (MOF) has confiscated over RM180mil in illicit goods during seizures between September 2018 and September 2019.
MOF commander Senior Asst Comm Mohd Yusoff Mamat, in a press conference at Bukit Aman on Thursday (Sept 19), said that marine police had also investigated 5,645 cases in that same time period.
“Compared to the 2017/2018 statistics, we have seen a 38% increase in cases. The estimated value of seizures has more than doubled, going up from RM81.52mil to RM180.71mil in that time frame.
“Most were confiscated and investigated under the Customs Act, which includes illegal cigarettes, alcohol etc. Illegal fishing also contributes highly to the number of cases we investigated.
“We have also identified two to three syndicates responsible for illegal cigarettes and alcohol smuggling activities and we have suggested Bukit Aman conduct investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (Amla)," he said.
Statistics from marine police showed that value from seizures of cases under the Customs Act amounted to around RM42.3mil for 2019 alone.
SAC Mohd Yusoff noted that the crime syndicates were feeling the pressure nowadays.
“I feel that they have fear now due to the high amount of seizures. We have a saying here, 'Tiada Hari Tanpa Keberhasilan' (No Days without Results). I’ve told all my officers that there will be no compromise when dealing with these crime syndicates, ” he said.
Regarding hotspots, marine police have identified waters near Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang as being favourites for illegal fishing.
“You also see these foreign fishermen going all the way to Pulau Aur in Johor. But not as much as the east coast.
“We have also identified a local that has aided these foreign fishermen intruding into our waters by acting as an agent. This individual is believed to have helped cloned boats (for use) and has a role in them coming into the county, ” he said.