KOTA BARU: A total of 249 smugglers were arrested by the Malaysian enforcement authorities as they attempted to sneak into the country along the Malaysia-Thailand border over the past 10 months.
Kelantan police chief DCP Shafien Mamat said the suspected smugglers comprised locals and foreigners who were picked up at several hotspot locations along the border, including in Pasir Mas, Rantau Panjang, and Tumpat districts.
“Those detained are believed to be runners of smuggling syndicates for rice, oil and flour, but there were also those involved in smuggling of migrants.
“They were nabbed by border enforcement agencies, including the General Operations Forces, Malaysian Border Security Agency, Malaysian Armed Forces and Marine Police Force, ” he said yesterday.
Last year, authorities in the state detained 114 smugglers.
In a related development, DCP Shafien said about RM15.8mil worth of smuggled goods were seized between January and October this year, involving 995 cases, compared with the corresponding period last year, with 537 cases and seizure of RM5.8mil of smuggled goods.
On illegal immigrants, Shafien said 1,767 foreigners were picked up by enforcement agencies along the border areas in operation from January to October this year; there were 3,246 during the corresponding period last year.
Most of the illegal immigrants are from Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar, he said, adding that they were brought into the country by “tekong darat” (smuggling agents).
“We believe enforcement of the movement control order since March, with the intensified checks, especially at the rat trails, is the reason for the drop in the arrest of illegal immigrants, ” he said. — Bernama
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