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Friday, 31 March 2017

Newly-appointed Customs director-general Datuk T. Subromaniam has pledged to tackle corruption and beef up efforts against smuggling

New Customs head takes aim at corruption


 
PUTRAJAYA: Newly-appointed Customs director-general Datuk T. Subromaniam has pledged to tackle corruption within the department’s ranks and will beef up efforts against smuggling.
“We have declared war on smugglers,” he said at his first press conference as Customs chief.
Towards that end, the department would be arming its border officers by next week, said Subromaniam, who took over from Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad last week.
“At present, only officers who are handling imports and exports are stationed at the border gates. When those at the border spot something untoward, they will contact the enforcement officers who are the ones carrying firearms.
“Why should the officers with firearms be elsewhere in some office? They should be right there at the borders so that they can catch the smugglers on the spot.
Subromaniam said the department monitors more than 150 border points, which includes main entry points such as airports and harbours, as well as jetties and small landing areas.
He also said that under the National Blue Ocean Strategy, the department would collaborate with other enforcement agencies, such as navy, police, maritime enforcement, and the Immigration Department to strengthen its border control.
On tackling corruption, Subromaniam said that while most of his officers were clean, it cannot be denied that there were a few corrupt ones.
He said all 14,000 Customs officers were required to sign an anti-corruption pledge, which means they were obliged to report incidents of graft.
He said the department would launch a “Corruption Risk Management” tool to identify “areas which were high risk and prone to leakages or abuse of power”.
“The tool was developed with the help of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. We identify procedural weaknesses and strengthened these areas. It will be launched in June and hopefully it will be a game-changer in Customs administration,” he said.
The department will also be going all out after cigarette smugglers, setting itself a target of reducing the number of contraband cigarettes in the domestic market by 50% over the next three years.
“Contraband cigarettes are the commodity that is most-smuggled in the country and the Customs Department seized cigarettes worth RM648,917,373 in tax value last year. This is a huge increase from 2015’s RM315,433,119,” he said.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/31/new-customs-head-takes-aim-at-corruption-dg-declares-war-on-smugglers/#bUkYk3GEDdSMUCOF.99

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