TAWAU, Jan 15 — A total of RM6.6 million worth of smuggled control goods were seized under the Control of Supply Act 1961 last year involving 714 cases, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said.
He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) received 250 cases handed over by other agencies involving seizures worth RM5.2 million under the same act, including 13 cases of smuggled gas tanks, cooking oil, wheat flour, petrol and sugar worth RM134,423 in Pulau Sebatik here during the same period.
“The issue of smuggling controlled goods at Malaysia’s international borders involving Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore is what the ministry will focus on preventing,” he said after a working visit to Pulau Sebatik today.
He said smuggling happened due to the absence of a border control centre at the Malaysia-Indonesia entry point, for example in Pulau Sebatik, Tawau.
“Apart from the price of Malaysian goods, which are much cheaper than neighbouring countries, the high demand and familial ties between border area residents complicate control efforts,” he said.
As such, Alexander said enforcement to curb the leakage of controlled goods at the border needed to be increased as the country suffered huge losses due to smuggling activities.
“Cooperation with other agencies, including the Marine Police Force, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) needs to be strengthened, including more joint operations, as well as due diligence by conducting audits at each point of the controlled goods distribution chain,” he said.
According to him, the community also has a role to play in helping the government deal the smuggling of controlled goods at the border by channeling information to the authorities.
“Over the past year, the ministry received 416 complaints related to the smuggling of controlled items, this greatly helps us in detecting and taking action,” Alexander said.
He said the ministry provides various complaint channels such as: Whatsapp 019-2794317; Call Centre 1-800-886-800; email at [email protected] and the Enforcement Control Centre (ECC) at 03-88826088/6245. — Bernama