Cross-border crimes on the rise in East Coast states, says GOF

  • Nation
  • Monday, 05 Jul 2021

PASIR MAS (Bernama: The General Operations Force (GOF) South-East Brigade has reported an increase in cross-border crime activities in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang from January to June compared to the same period last year.

Its commander SAC Hasan Basri Ahmad Safar said the GOF thwarted 296 cases with 252 arrests and seizures worth over RM10.2mil for the first six months of last year.

“But from January to June this year, the GOF foiled 464 cross-border crimes, detaining 458 individuals and seizing smuggled items worth over RM33.2mil," he told an Ops Benteng media conference at the Lubuk Setol GOF Tactical Headquarters here on Monday (July 5).

He also said the highest number of cases recorded this year were under the Customs Act 1967 and the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994, both having 79 cases and seizures of about RM3.5mil and RM1.9mil respectively.

Meanwhile, the highest value of goods seizures involved 64 cases under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which recorded a value in excess of RM13.7mil, he said.

Hasan Basri said other cross-border crime activities which GOF foiled during the half-year period were under the Poisons Act 1952 (42 cases and seizures worth RM3.4mil) and Animals Act 1953 (18 cases and seizures worth RM2.15mil).

Asked what contributed to the increase in cross-border crime, he did not rule out the possibility that it was the pressure of having to sustain livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We will continue to monitor and tighten security at the nation’s entry points to ensure smuggling activities can be eradicated,” he said.

The GOF had also detained 135 illegals from various countries and 19 vessels' skippers during Ops Benteng, he added.

It also seized 15 vehicles used to smuggle in illegals.

Commenting on the pioneer Op Bersepadu project between the GOF and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) that was launched on June 16, Hasan Basri said 13 smuggling attempts were thwarted, with seizures amounting to RM318,459.96 to date.

“Six men were detained and seven vehicles seized through this operation, which will be conducted until July 16,” he said, adding that a review of Op Bersepadu would be conducted before it is implemented on a permanent basis. – Bernama

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