KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) seized RM293.3 million worth of smuggled goods across the country for the period of January to July this year.

Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director, Datuk Zainal Abidin Kasim said the sum was higher than the RM102.6 worth of smuggled goods seized during the same period last year.

He said among the smuggled goods were cigarettes, liquor, frozen meat and vehicles.

“Between January and July this year, 1,024 individuals were detained over smuggling cases. Out of this number, 814 are locals and the rest are foreigners including Indonesians and Filipinos.

“During the same period last year, 996 individuals comprising locals and foreign nationals were detained over smuggling activities,” he said during a special interview in Bukit Aman, here.

Zainal Abidin said the seizure of smuggled goods and arrest of the individuals involved were not only made at the country’s border areas but also at retail shops and storage facilities believed to be keeping these goods, for which the tax had not been paid.

“Meanwhile, in the operations against the smuggling of cigarettes in Sarawak between 2015 and April 2021, cash totalling RM225,400 were seized and 42 individuals detained for trying to bribe the enforcement officers,” he added.

On whether the police Air Operation Force (PGU) was only conducting security patrols along the border areas, Zainal Abidin said the PGU was also playing a role in the Khazanah Integrated Operations (OBK) (to weed out wildlife smugglers).

“The PGU’s duties are not limited to ensuring security at the border areas but also curbing encroachment, illegal logging and illegal hunting of wildlife in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

“Besides that, upon knowing or receiving information about encroachment of land or fire outbreaks, the PGU will be doing aerial monitoring (and taking photos as proof),” he added. — Bernama