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BUMPER QUARTER: Customs uses 'roving system' to pick doing smugglers
THE Customs Department has collected RM8 billion in revenues in the first three months of the year, an increase of five per cent over the corresponding period last year.
The majority of the amount was for local excise duties, amounting to about RM1.9 billion, followed by RM1.6 billion in service tax and RM1.5 billion in sales tax.
The Federal Territories had the highest collection of RM3 billion, followed by Selangor (RM2.6 billion), Johor (RM410 million), Kedah (RM243 million) and Sarawak (RM241 million).
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Yusuf said the enforcement division did well this year with 15,277 cases worth RM114 million in seizures.
"There are 10 cases in court now worth RM73 million, which are related to drugs, contraband cigarettes and alcohol, fireworks and even rice. All this success is because of our good intelligence network and the new technology we recently acquired," he said before launching the Customs Directors meeting yesterday.
Khalid said the department was moving towards technology to monitor suspicious cargo coming in and out of the country.
"We cannot check each and every passenger who arrives at an airport. In Kuala Lumpur International Airport alone, there are nearly 3,000 passengers coming in and out every hour. So to physically go through their luggage and cargo would disrupt air traffic.
"To solve this problem, we have employed the roving system. Plainclothes Customs officers blend in with the crowd and pick out any suspicious traveller at the airport for further investigation.
"Often, we get the right targets," said Khalid, adding that the system contributed to most of the drug trafficking cases intercepted in the airports and entry points nationwide.
Last month, Sarawak Customs seized 3,500 Eramin-5 pills at the Tebedu entry point, a success contributed by the roving system.
On another matter, Khalid said 92 disciplinary cases were filed against Customs officers last year.
He said 72 staff were sacked, demoted or suspended due to misuse of power and corruption.
"We also took action against five of our senior officers and 87 support staff for various disciplinary offences. We do not take disciplinary cases lightly in this department," said Khalid.