KUALA LUMPUR: A whopping RM97.5mil worth of contraband was seized and 1,199 people were detained by the General Operations Force (GOF) Brigade Tengah this year.
GOF Brigade Tengah commander Senior Asst Comm Muhammad Abdul Halim said those detained were 194 locals and 925 foreigners and added that all were detained in 176 raids conducted between Jan 1 and Tuesday (Dec 14).
“The most commonly-seized item is contraband cigarettes with RM41.69mil worth of the item seized, followed by alcoholic beverages and ketum (RM38.38mil),” said SAC Muhammad
He added that aside from these three items, vehicles worth RM9.1mil were seized along with steel and metal (RM3.1mil), controlled items (RM2.6mil), cash and other items (RM802,137) and smuggled wildlife (RM120,500).
“It is the highest amount of seized items in Brigade Tengah’s history so far,” said SAC Muhammad at a press conference on Wednesday (Dec 15), adding that this is a sharp increase compared to last year as RM36mil was seized then.
He added that the locals detained are only regular syndicate members and said that police are still hunting the masterminds of the syndicates.
“We also detained 537 individuals last year, including more than 300 foreigners,” he said.
SAC Muhammad said smugglers always change their modus operandi to evade capture.
“Their tactics and techniques change from time to time, especially during the pandemic. However, we believe some smugglers are still using small fishing boats to smuggle items,” he said.
SAC Muhammad then said that the Brigade also detained undocumented immigrants were also detained after they managed to enter the country.
“We also detected that smugglers are also advertising their services especially in transporting undocumented immigrants to enter or leave the country. We are working with the relevant authorities to curb their activity,” he said.