Sabah security ops bag RM18mil in contraband, nab 277 suspects in first half of 2021

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah security officials confiscated over RM18mil worth of contraband in various crackdowns from January to June this year.

General Operations Force (GOF) commander SAC Mohd Abduh Ismail said the seized items consisted largely of cigarettes, worth RM17mil in total, while the rest of the items included alcohol, drugs, firearms and wildlife meat.

SAC Mohd Abduh said these confiscations from 97 cases were made together with security forces such as the armed forces, police and Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) officials.

“A total of 277 people were nabbed in these cases,” he told a press conference here on Monday (July 5).

Out of the 277 suspects, a total of 126 were investigated under the Immigration Act; 40 under the Customs Act; 80 for drug-related offences; 21 for having controlled items; four under the Poisons Act; three under the Wildlife Act; two for forestry-related offences; and one under the Firearms Act.

SAC Mohd Abduh said most of the raids were carried out in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Putatan, Tuaran, Keningau, Kudat, Lahad Datu, Tawau, Sandakan and Beluran.

The largest number of raids happened in Penampang, where cigarettes and alcohol worth about RM5mil before tax were found, having been smuggled in by land and sea.

He believes the sea shipments come from ships moving from Labuan after getting stocks from suppliers in Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia.

He said the GOF's duty was not only to stop these smuggling activities but also to find out where the landing points and stores are located.

For now, it has identified stores for contraband in Kudat, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau.

He said the most highly sought contraband in Sabah are cigarettes and alcohol.

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