KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman’s Marine Operations Force (MOF) managed to seize contraband worth well over RM180mil within a year.
At a press conference here yesterday, MOF commander Senior Asst Comm Mohd Yusoff Mamat said that marine police had also investigated 5,645 smuggling cases between September 2018 and 2019.
“Compared to the 2017/2018 statistics, we have seen a 38% increase in cases. The estimated value of seizures has also more than doubled, going from RM81.52mil to RM180.71mil in that time frame.
“Most were confiscated and investigated under the Customs Act, with popular items ranging from cigarettes to alcohol. Illegal fishing also contributed significantly to the number of cases we investigated.
“We have also identified two to three syndicates responsible for cigarette and alcohol smuggling activities, and we have suggested to Bukit Aman to conduct investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (Amla), ” he said.
Statistics from the marine police showed that the value of contraband seized under the Customs Act amounted to around RM42.3mil for 2019 alone.
SAC Mohd Yusoff noted that smuggling syndicates were feeling the pressure nowadays.
On illegal fishing hotspots, the marine police have identified waters near Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang as being favourites.
“Foreign fishermen are even going all the way to Pulau Aur in Johor. We have also identified a local who had aided these foreign fishermen, ” he said.