KANGAR – The cheap subsidised Malaysian cooking oil and wheat flour which are in high demand in a neighbouring country as they are more expensive there prompted certain parties to resort to smuggling them out despite the high penalties for the offence.
In the latest case, the Malaysian Border Control Agency (AKSEM) in Perlis seized 1,970 kg of cooking oil worth over RM5,000 and 240 kg of flour worth RM573 from a local three-ton lorry and three Thai pick-ups at Wang Kelian, 34.3 km from here, yesterday evening .
According to the director of the Perlis Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cooperative and Consumer Affairs (KPDNKK) Office, Khairul Amin Talib, the team stopped the vehicles at the Control Post two kilometres from the Wang Kelian/Wang Prachan border gate, on the Malaysian side, from 5pm to 5.30pm.
“A truck driven by a man was stopped when it arrived at the Post at about 5 pm and the inspection found 1700 packs of cooking oil weighing 1700 kg worth more than RM4,250 covered with onions so as not to be seen by the inspectors,” he told the media here, today.
Subsequently, he said the team also found 270 packets of cooking oil weighing 270 kg worth RM761 and 240 packets of wheat flour weighing 240 kg worth RM573 from three pick-ups, each driven by Thais who were later examined.
Khairul Amin said the four drivers, in their 30s, were unable to produce export authorisation documents resulting in their cargoes, and vehicles worth about RM160,000, to be seized and handed over to KPDNKK for further action.
“We believe these smuggling activities involve other individuals although these four cases are not related to each other. We also believe the drivers involved were only paid to drive the vehicles,” said Khairul Amin.
He said the cases were being investigated under section 22 (1) of the Control of Supplies Act 1961 which provided a maximum fine of RM1 million or up to three years imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.
Khairul Amin said the supply of cooking oil for the requirement of the people of Perlis is currently inadequate but the issue of shortage of supply did not arise. – BERNAMA