Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Monitoring system at KKIA to be enhanced


The State Customs Department is strengthening its monitoring system at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport ( KKIA) following another attempt by a foreign drug syndicate to smuggle syabu into the State through the entry point early this year. “We recently intercepted an attempt to bring in 800 grammes of crystalline substance from Cebu, Philippines. The security level has been increased with all personnel at the Airport on full alert,” said its Director, Datuk Md Yusop Mansor. He said the incident in January was the second since Last year with both involving Philippine citizens trying to sneak syabu into Sabah. Syabu is a popular synthetic drug among addicts in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. In the first case last year a passenger of a flight from Hong Kong was found trying to smuggle the same type of drug at the Airport. Syabu which is believed to be originated from the Philippines, is now produced in Malaysia and a few other neighbouring countries as its popularity continues to increase. “We don’t want Kota Kinabalu or Sabah for that matter to become a transit point for drugs trafficking and are doing more to ensure we have the capability to ensure this won’t happen,” Yusop said at a press conference here yesterday. “An additional 122 personnel have been approved by the Ministry, bringing the overall number of Customs personnel at the Airport to around 180.” On another development, Yusop said the Department wanted to play an active role to get rid the City and towns in the State of street kids, especially those who are peddling contraband. In responding to calls from various parties for the Government to take more concrete measures to resolve the street kids issue, he said the Department is planning to conduct major operations in Kota Kinabalu, Lahad Datu, Sandakar and other towns in the State, targeting children selling smuggled cigarettes and pirated VCDs. “We know that many of these street kids make their living by selling contraband. This is where we can get in,” he said.