KUCHING: Serikin and Tebedu are among the favourite ‘rat trails’ for smuggling controlled items as the towns are located along the border and due to high demand for the smuggled goods from a neighbouring country.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) Enforcement Division director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said the ministry had seized a total of RM2.3 million worth of smuggled goods until September this year.
He added most of the seized goods were liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), cooking oil, petrol, sugar, wheat flour, and diesel which are cheaper in Malaysia compared to neighbouring countries.
“Serikin and Tebedu, recorded the highest seizure followed by Limbang and Bintulu. A total of 106 investigation papers were opened under the Control of Supplies Act 1961,” he said in a press conference here today.
Citing an example, Iskandar said the 1kg (kilogramme) cooking oil which is sold in Malaysia for RM2.50 per litre, is sold at about RM4 in Thailand and Indonesia, respectively.
“To date, three individuals have been charged in the court, where two of them were sentenced to six months in jail each while another gets 18 months imprisonment,” he said.
“We do not rule out the possibility that syndicates are behind these smuggling activities, while certain individuals smuggled as a source of income,” he added.