BUKIT KAYU HITAM, Sept 1 — Seizures of ketum leaves in Op Benteng Covid from August 1 until yesterday have spiked to 7.9 tonnes compared to two tonnes in July due to the lucrative earnings and high wages from smuggling the commodity.
General Operations Force (GOF) Second Battalion commander, Supt Md Dali Jamil said the task of his team was becoming more challenging when ketum leaf smugglers often changed their modus operandi.
“Nevertheless, security forces still succeeded in thwarting them. Nowadays, some smugglers resorted to running with the gunny sacks of ketum leaves on their shoulders and throwing them on the other side of the border.
“It is understood that the fee for carrying the ketum leaves is around RM100 for a gunny sack. The ketum leaves are sold for over RM100 a kilogramme there compared to RM30 in Malaysia, hence the activity continues to take place,” he said.
“Most of the cases were detected in Chuping and Padang Besar in Perlis,” he told reporters when announcing the success of GOF Northern Bridage Second Battalion in Op Benteng Covid at Martek Bukit Kayu Hitam here, today.
Md Dali said the GOF Northern Brigade also nabbed 16 illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Thailand including a Myanmar skipper who sneaked into the country at Ladang Rakyat Laka Temin near here, last night.
“They would be investigated under Section 6(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007,” he added. — Bernama