ALOR SETAR – Following allegations that a large quantity of Malaysian cooking oil was being smuggled into Thailand when Malaysians are facing a shortage of cooking oil, the relevant authorities involved in border operations have intensified surveillance.
Among the restrictions imposed is the transport of any quantity of cooking oil, even for domestic purpose, into Thailand by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
Kedah Customs Director Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir told Bernama that they have received instructions from the headquarters regarding the action, effective Nov 1.
He said they have also intensified checks on vehicles travelling along the border at Bukit Kayu Hitam (BKH) and Durian Burung, as well as placed 60 personnel at BKH.
Perlis Customs Director Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar also confirmed that instructions had been issued to all of officers at the entry points to seize cooking oil taken out of the country beginning Nov 1.
Meanwhile, in Kelantan, Region Three Marine Police in Pengkalan Kubor have stepped up monitoring at several stores in the district that are believed to have been turned into transit ports for the storage of cooking oil before being smuggled into neighbouring countries.
He said Marine police were also monitoring vehicles along the Sungai Golok border that are believed to be used by smugglers for smuggling out cooking oil.
“This is a grave matter as it is hard for the authorities to catch the smugglers who transfer the smuggled goods to boats through illegal ports as they can escape instantly through the narrow river,” Ahmad Amri said.
Thus, he called for a stronger collaboration to curb smuggling activities, adding that the main reason for the smuggling of cooking oil is the high demand for controlled items that are cheaper in Malaysia. – BERNAMA