The number of Malaysian drug smugglers and syndicates is on the rise - and
worrying the authorities.
Royal Malaysian Customs Department assistant director-general Datuk Zainul
Abidin Taib told The Malay Mail yesterday six smugglers had been arrested in
the 1st 2 months of the year.
He described the trend as "worrying".
Customs director-general Datuk Mohamed Khalid Yusuf (pic) said Malaysian
students, especially school-leavers without tertiary education prospects, were
being targetted by syndicates to become drug mules.
"In 2009, we had smugglers mostly from the Indian subcontinent. In 2010, it was
Middle-Easterners. But since last year, there has been a steady increase in the
number of Malaysians arrested for this offence," he said after the World
Customs Organisation Forum launch yesterday.
"I hope Malaysians are not influenced by any promises, such as sponsored trips
abroad, because drug smuggling is a serious offence here. It carries a
mandatory death penalty. People should bear that in mind."
He said the department also noted smugglers were reverting to swallowing drugs
packed into capsules, a method used frequently a decade ago but resurfaced
early this year.
The method was notoriously hazardous for the smugglers as they could overdose
and die if the capsules burst inside the body. Customs had reported RM30
million worth of narcotics seized this year so far.
Last year, RM183 million worth of drugs was confiscated.
Khalid said the department was looking at new technologies to curb smuggling
"Our country has too many entry points. It is impossible to monitor every
person coming into the country.
"We need state-of-the-art technologies to aid us in monitoring. 2 months ago,
we installed new detecting machines at KLIA worth RM4 million. The machines
help us detect anyone carrying any anomalies in their bodies."
The forum, in its 3rd edition and hosted by Malaysia for the first time,
allowed Customs agencies all over the world to share methodologies and
Khalid said the RM30.4 billion collected through indirect taxes last year was
the highest in history and expected this year's collection to break the record
at an estimated RM32 billion.
(source: Yahoo News)