Flight passengers using VIP lanes to go through stricter checks

17 Oct 2018 / 15:11 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Politicians, senior officials and other prominent individuals using the VIP lanes at airports will go through stringent checks similar to other travellers, unlike previously.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said immigration and customs officers would be stationed at the VIP special lanes in all airports nationwide in the government's bid to tighten security after reports of cash smuggling there.
He added that beginning next year X-Ray scanners would also be placed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which is reported to be most rampant with the smuggling issues, admitting there were leakages and weaknesses currently with the lanes.
"The ministry and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) have held discussions with the immigration and customs to tighten existing regulations and to place their officers there because there are none now.
"All immigration matters are currently being handled by the VIP's escorts, where else customs officers are only stationed outside the VIP lanes.
"We will place them inside now and VIPs will be checked before they leave. X-Ray scanners will also installed to address issues of cash smuggling," he told the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.
Loke was responding to a supplementary question by Pang Hok Liong (PH-Labis) on measures that would be taken by the government to ensure the VIP lanes in airports were not being abused by individuals to smuggle in cash.
This came following reports that several VIPs and senior officials have been using the lanes to smuggle cash into the country because the authorities went easy on them.
It is also believed that this included a case where over RM40 billion was brought in by an agency related to the Prime Minister's Department in April for political usage in the 14th General Election.
Commenting further on the X-Ray scanners, Loke said they would be used on all passengers in KLIA to replace the current practice of pat-down or physical search.
"We have already ordered the machines and will introduce it in phases beginning next year at KLIA," he said.


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