Police heighten border watch on smuggling of firecrackers

Police heighten border watch on smuggling of firecrackers

BALING: Enforcement at the border gate in Bukit Kayu Hitam will be heightened to curb the smuggling of firecrackers and fireworks, especially ahead of the upcoming Aidilfitri celebration.

Kedah police chief Commissioner Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said currently there were only a few companies that had applied to become licenced distributors to bring in firecrackers and fireworks through the entry point.

“While only two or three companies have applied to become licenced distributors, those not licenced resort to smuggling, so we are persistent on inspections and making arrests.

“Illegal sales are not allowed, especially dangerous firecrackers which can cause injuries to fingers and hands,“ he told reporters at the Royal Malaysia Police Kedah South Zone breaking-fast ceremony here today.

He said only licenced traders were allowed to import firecrackers and fireworks and that just a few days ago, smugglers were arrested.

Wan Hassan advised any parties wishing to bring in (approved) firecrackers and fireworks from neighbouring countries in conjunction with the festive season, to submit an application for their business to be conducted legally.

He said since the border at Bukit Kayu Hitam was opened earlier this month, there had been an increase in vehicles using the gate.

“Five to six days after the border opened, there were not many, about 100 vehicles were coming in and out in a day. This may be due to some SOPs (standard operating procedures) that are unclear such as the need to do RT-PCR testing, buy insurance and so on,“ he said.

Wan Hassan said although traffic was still not heavy, inspections were carried out as usual and a 24-hour roadblock mounted at the entrance.

“We are always vigilant, with patrol teams, including members of narcotics and crime, always monitoring,“ he said. – Bernama