Customs plans to use eseal to curb smuggling, says Ahmad Maslan

  • Nation
  • Monday, 29 May 2023

PUTRAJAYA: The Royal Malaysia Customs Department is studying and testing the effectiveness of a new electronic security seal device, or eseal, which will be attached to containers carrying goods in efforts to eradicate smuggling.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the eseal technology, which would replace the decades-old lead seals, could monitor the movement of containers from the port until they reach the destination registered on the application.

He said this was crucial to monitoring the logistical movement of containers and lorries and, thus, eradicate smuggling and increase the country’s revenue.

“Its use can indirectly increase cargo security and the traceability of container movements. Goods can reach the destinations on time and movement information can also be monitored,” he told a media conference after a working visit to the Customs headquarters, here, Monday (May 29).

For example, he said, items transported from Port Klang in Selangor to Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah could be replaced with other items during the journey for purposes of misappropriation.

“There is no way we can know that it had stopped at one spot for two hours and replaced the contents in the container that had been declared, (but) with eseal, even if he stops for two hours, we will know it. And the Customs officers can then head to the spot and see why they stopped for two hours,” he explained.

Ahmad said the eseal technology was developed by a local company and widely used in East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo, adding that the countries’ tax collections were reported to have increased by 20% through the implementation of the eseal.

He said that, so far, Customs had yet to decide when the new technology would be implemented in the country.

“Of course, we wish to examine it first. We don’t just get the technology and use it straightaway... there is a certain process,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad said the Customs Department seized a total of 2,410.22kg of drugs worth RM81.39mil in the first five months of this year, with the biggest seizure involving 1,307.01kg of cannabis, followed by ecstasy (1,071.14kg), methamphetamine (21.56kg), heroin (3.74kg) and 10,003 Eramin 5 pills.

He said the Customs Department also foiled attempts to smuggle subsidised items like diesel, cooking oil, petrol and sugar, involving 100 cases with goods worth RM573,688 seized last year and, for the first four months of this year, 48 smuggling cases were foiled, with goods worth RM432,659 confiscated. - Bernama

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