Police and Customs to work together more closely

R. Loheswar
IGP Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun (left) and Customs Director-General Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy pose for the cameras at Awana Resort, Genting Highlands January 13, 2019. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

GENTING HIGHLANDS, Jan 13 — The police and Customs Department announced today that they will sign a memorandum of understanding to share information and protect officers during raids.

In a two-day meeting at Genting Highlands, both parties discussed matters pertaining to the smuggling of drugs, cigarettes, liquor and CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear and Explosives), the threat of “tontos” (informers who give tip-offs to illegal operators), and protecting officers on duty.

“The police need to offer our services to the customs officers whose lives are threatened whenever they go on raids,” Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun told the press at Awana Resort in Genting Highlands this afternoon in conjunction with the 4th High-Level Meeting between the force and Customs Department.

“We have an understanding to come in and support these officers and we can launch the operation in tandem.

“Among the issues they face are attacks from tontos and also whenever they try to collect the illegal contraband from raids, they could be attacked. With this cooperation between us, both parties can help expedite the job faster and in a systematic and effective way,” said Fuzi.

Fuzi gave an example of how better cooperation between the police and Customs can help, citing a recent case where two Malaysian men were caught in Hong Kong for smuggling five kilogrammes of stimulant drugs.

“Take, for example, the case of the Malaysian mules caught in Hong Kong. The authorities who caught them are HK customs officials, not the police,” explained Fuzi.

“If the police need information, it’ll be hard to get it from foreign customs agencies but our Customs Department would have better contacts with them.

“If we work together, we can compare notes and make our jobs eaier.”

Fuzi said both agencies will establish five new committees, but declined to divulge the details as he said it should remain an internal matter.

Also in attendance at the press conference was Customs Director-General Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy, who said his department is waging an all-out war against sellers of illegal cigarettes and liquor in order to meet their targets of hitting RM7 billion in taxes for the country in 2019.

“We are increasing our raids on vendors and smugglers,” said Subromaniam.

“The finance minister said during the national budget last year that the total income from cigarettes must be at least RM1 billion more this year. However, the KPI (Key Performance Index) that we’ve set for ourselves is to hit RM7 billion by year’s end. The way to do this is by stopping all these illegal activities.”

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