Malaysian cigarette smuggling rings paying big bribes for 'smooth passage'

Malaysian cigarette smuggling rings paying big bribes for 'smooth passage'

Syndicates are prepared to offer bribes as high as RM40,000 ($16,000) per shipping container to Customs officers in exchange for "smooth passage" of contraband cigarettes and liquor into the country, reported Mingguan Malaysia.

"Such high amounts have made smuggling activities worse over time," a source said.

The source said aside from using containers, the syndicates would also use vans to smuggle goods.

"They will only smuggle goods at a certain time using vehicles that have received the 'green light' from high ranking officials from the Customs Department," he said.

The source further alleged that corrupt Custom officials worked in teams.

"The smuggling vehicle will only pass through Customs when members of the 'team' who have been paid are on duty. If there is any inspection, it will only be for show," said the source.

He added that the RM40,000 bribe would be divided among the members of the team, which consists of those from the inspection unit, enforcement, port police, documentation unit, as well as the data entry unit.

"If they let two containers pass per day, they will get about RM80,000 of easy money," said the source.

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