Customs to place armed personnel at border checkpoints


PUTRAJAYA: Come next week, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department will assign armed enforcement personnel at main border checkpoints.

Director-General T. Subromaniam said the move was part of the department’s latest efforts to strengthen border control and prevent untoward incident.

He said currently only Customs import and export management personnel were placed at border checkpoints while armed enforcement staff were assigned to a nearby area.

“Under the present arrangement, enforcement personnel find it difficult to reach the checkpoint on time, in case of an incident,” he told his first media conference following his appointment as the department’s director-general on March 24 here today.

Subromaniam said the department would cooperate with other agencies to streamline border control efforts through the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), including the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Immigration Department.

On cigarette smuggling, he said the department was targeting to reduce smuggled cigarettes in the domestic market by 50% in the next three years.

He said tax saved through contraband cigarette seizures last year amounted to RM648 million as compared to RM315 million in 2015, a 105% improvement.