Padang Besar residents cry foul over smuggling activities

19 Oct 2019 / 20:11 H.

PADANG BESAR: Residents of Padang Besar claim that despite the border control, smuggling activities are still rampant and have continued to disrupt their daily activities.

A resident who just wanted to be known as Pak Mat, 58, claimed various subsidised items enjoyed by the people in the country were being smuggled.

He claimed a group of Thai nationals here have been actively smuggling the goods from the break of dawn until noon, adding that the authorities did not seem to care though this was happening before their very eyes.

“As soon as they (the Thais) pass the border they will be speeding on their vehicles to collect the subsidised goods and bring them back into Thailand. They have little respect for traffic rules and I was almost knocked down by them,” he said when met by Bernama yesterday.

A check by Bernama found the situation at the Malaysia-Thailand border at the Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Complex (ICQ) quiet and well-controlled by the authorities including the Customs, Immigration and the police.

The General Operations Force (PGA) was also guarding the border fencing around the Padang Besar railway station.

Pak Mat claimed that locals were also smuggling the subsidised goods but the residents dared not complain to the authorities as they feared for their safety.

Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Syukur, 30, claimed the smugglers were aware of the authorities’ movements when the operations were conducted.

“I have also seen them smuggling in diesel oil, petrol, flour and sugar in huge quantities,“ he said adding that enforcement was lacking in the border area.

As such he hoped the authorities would take the smuggling activities seriously to ensure that the subsidised goods were not being abused and the safety of residents maintained.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday revealed that the agency has thousands of video clips related to smuggling activities at the border areas since 2017 as a result of corrupt practices. — Bernama

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