JOHOR BARU - Cigarette and liquor smuggling syndicates are resorting to scare tactics and threats after the Customs Department tightened security checks at both the Second Link and the Causeway here.
At least two senior assistant directors from the import and export divisions have reportedly been threatened, including with the splashing of red paint at the house and vehicles of one of them.
Some officers claimed to have received death threats.
The syndicates are also said to be using tontos (lookouts) to block Customs vehicles from going after lorries laden with liquor and contraband.
On Monday, a lorry laden with beer was stopped at the Second Link at about 2pm for a routine inspection.
However, the driver refused to stop and rammed through the gantry, triggering a chase.
Several tonto vehicles intercepted the Customs cars, resulting in the lorry giving the officers the slip.
It is learnt that there have been several similar cases since checkpoint inspections were stepped up in January.