KOTA BARU: A total of 23,750 kg of Thai rice worth RM76,000 was seized by the 9th General Operations Force (PGA9) Battalion in an operation near Kok Seraya, Chabang Empat in Tumpat yesterday.
PGA9 Commanding Officer Supt Ramly Poncho said they had also detained four men, aged between 31 and 55, believed to be involved in the rice smuggling activities from the neighbouring country.
He said the case was detected when its members were spying on a rat route near the illegal jetty at Kertas, Kuala Jambu in conjunction with Ops Wawasan Sempadan Malaysia (Kelantan)-Thailand operation.
“Based on the information, the team saw a truck from the illegal jetty passing through Bendang Pak Yong and went straight to a store in Kok Seraya, Chabang Empat Tumpat at about 2.45am yesterday.
“Twenty-five minutes later the lorry left the area and headed for the main road before being stopped by the PGA9 members and an inspection on the lorry revealed that it was carrying sacks of white rice,” he said in a statement today.
According to him, after being arrested, the PGA9 members later ordered the two male suspects to bring them to the store for further examination.
Ramly said upon arriving, the store was found locked but there was a man inside, they then introduced themselves as policemen and ordered the man to open the door.
“Investigation of the store found 350 rice sacks, each weighing 50kg containing white rice while inspections on the lorry found 125 rice sacks of the same weight.
“The team also confiscated several documents submitted by the suspects because they were believed to be dubious,” he said.
He explained although there was a rice packing machine in the store, it was believed that all the contraband were ready-packed in Thailand before being smuggled into the country.
“All the arrests and seizures will be handed over to Kelantan state rice and padi regulatory services section for further action,” he said. - Bernama