IGP vows crackdown on rampant cigarette smuggling, online gambling during MCO

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 6, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador vowed today to take stern action against online gambling and cigarette smuggling that grew rampant following the movement control order (MCO) currently enforced nationwide.

Acknowledging the rise in cigarette smuggling activities and online gambling in the country, Abdul Hamid said such activities were exacerbated by people confined to their homes.

“I would like to remind those who are confined to their homes to avoid gambling. InsyaAllah I will take action against these syndicates the soonest.

“These syndicates are now targeting those at home and encouraging them to gamble away their Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) cash aid which I am worried about,” he told a press conference at Bukit Aman here.

This follows the announcement by Bank Simpanan Nasional — the bank which has been entrusted to manage the BPN payouts — stating that the first phase of the BPN payouts will be credited to accounts starting today until April 15.

Abdul Hamid also said he has instructed his officers to check the rise of cigarette smuggling and to conduct random searches during roadblocks to curb such activities through the use of delivery services like Grab.

“I am aware of the rise in cigarette smuggling activities because I was made to understand that cigarettes sold at some shops have now began to run out. I have therefore ordered my men to conduct random checks on delivery motorcycles to see what is truly being transported.

“Some irresponsible individuals have also misused their food delivery storage bags to flout the MCO for the sake of leaving their homes which I have also reminded my officers to keep an eye out,” he added.

Meanwhile, the IGP also reminded the public to be vigilant and cautious of scammers seeking to exploit them following the announcement on BPN cash aid being paid into bank accounts starting today.

On Saturday, Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad warned the public to not be duped by syndicates attempting to manipulate the announcement made by the government.

Mohd Zakaria said authorities have discovered several attempts made by syndicates in sending instant messages to individuals claiming they were eligible of receiving the cash handout.

Those who received said messages were then asked to provide their personal details and banking details for processing purposes.

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