Students, locals being paid by smuggling syndicates to provide information on security forces

Students, locals being paid by smuggling syndicates to provide information on security forces

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Smuggling syndicates are acting boldly by paying locals as well as school students to channel information on the movement of security forces at the border.

Categorised as a non-aggressive version of a tonto (thug), they receive payments as low as RM50 a day to provide information to smuggling syndicates.

Malaysian Border Security Agency (Aksem) deputy director-general (Strategic) Mohd Ridzzuan Mohd Zain said tonto activities were now more cunning with a wide network of communications.

“Indeed, every time the security forces’ vehicles leave the office, they (smuggling syndicate) will know.

“In Bukit Kayu Hitam, their network is wide with people at almost every junction,“ he said when met by the media covering the Op Benteng here yesterday.

Op Benteng is a special operation under the National Task Force (NTF) involving several security forces such as the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Malaysian Border Security Agency (Aksem) and Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) to strictly patrol national borders from being encroached by illegal immigrants.

Despite facing the challenges from the tonto, Mohd Ridzzuan said Aksem would continue to conduct operations to ensure no entry of illegal immigrants and prohibited goods.

“Aksem with other security forces under NTF will share intelligence information in ensuring every operation is successful,“ he said.

He said luxury cars were also used by smuggling syndicates to smuggle ketum leaves and other prohibited items.

“There were cases where we detained some luxury vehicles like Mitsubishi Lancer that was carrying ketum leaves and being smuggled into the country.

“Various methods are used by the syndicate to carry out smuggling activities,“ he added. — Bernama