The state Customs Department today admitted that the smuggling of frozen meat and chicken was still rampant along the Kelantan/Thai border.
Its director Mohd Rakbi Mat Saud said this could be seen based on the number of arrests made by the department in its series of operations since early this year.
So far, he said the department detained seven locals whom they believed were smugglers, in possession of smuggled frozen chicken.
“In the operation between Jan and last month, the department recorded 12 cases of smuggling frozen chicken.
“Five of the cases were without any arrest while for the rest of the cases, we managed to detain seven people.
“During the operations, we also seized frozen chicken worth nearly RM100,000 in unpaid taxes amounting to RM33,000,” he said.
Apart from the border areas, Mohd Rakbi said seizures were made at other locations such as Wakaf Bharu, Pasir Tumboh and Machang.
“There are also cases where we seized frozen chicken along illegal jetties between Rantau Panjang and Bukit Bunga in Tanah Merah,” he said.
Mohd Rakbi said the department officers, especially those manning border checkpoints, have been told to increase their checks on commercial vehicles suspected of bringing in non-halal frozen chicken and meat.
Bukit Aman police have earlier confirmed that smuggling of frozen meat occurred through several of the country’s borders including in Kelantan and Sarawak.
However, the issue was not new as police were aware on the matter and had made numerous arrests.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Johor recently opened investigation papers in connection with the smuggling of imported meat in the state. Nst