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KUCHING: International drug syndicates have changed tactics and started using locals to traffick drugs into the country instead of foreigners, which was the trend three years ago.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Yusof said these syndicates mostly employed Indians in 2009, before shifting to Iranians in 2010 and resorted to using Malaysian citizens to do the work last year.
Throughout 2011, 92 drug trafficking cases were detected by customs, while in the first three months this year the department detected 34 cases involving RM43 million, he said here today.
When met after chairing a nationwide customs directors meeting, he said besides using flight passengers as drug mules, other smuggling methods include using postal and courier services.
Meanwhile, regarding tax collections, Mohamed Khalid said the department has collected about RM8 billion for the first quarter of the year compared to RM7.6 billion for the same period last year.
The increase was contributed by (local) excise duty collection of RM1.8 billion, service tax amounting to RM1.5 billion and sales tax RM1.4 billion.
Tax on motorised vehicles amounted to RM2.7 billion, cigarettes (RM911 million), liquor (RM338 million), crude petroleum (RM551 million), telecommunications (RM321 million), hotel restaurants (RM178 million), consultancy services (RM167 million), insurance policies (RM156 million) and advertising (RM121 million).
This year the customs targets collection of up to RM32 billion.
Commenting on a related matter, Mohamed Khalid said the department was outlining a cooperation with New Zealand to boost the quality of its services.
Customs has already forged partnerships with regional countries, India, Maldives, the United States of America and Australia, he added. - Bernama