GOF seized 60,000kg of rice last year

KOTA BARU: The large amount of smuggled rice seized by enforcement personnel in recent times is proof of the rice cartel’s menace in Kelantan.

The General Operations Force (GOF) seized nearly 60,000kg of smuggled rice, including at stores belonging to rice operators, in a series of operations along the Kelantan border last year.

GOF Southeast Brigade commander Senior Assistant Commissioner Hasan Basri Ahmad Safar said the seized rice was valued at about RM700,000.

Besides stores and abandoned premises, he said, the rice was also seized near the many illegal jetties along the border.

“The GOF has recorded 179 cases of rice seizures last year involving various types from a neighbouring country.

“During the period, 51 people, including seven women, were detained for possessing the smuggled items.”

He said the GOF also seized 123 vehicles, most of them cars and four-wheel-drive vehicles.

“In the first three months of this year, the GOF seized 154kg of smuggled rice worth about RM800,000 and arrested 16 people.”

He said 56 vehicles believed to be used to transport the rice to their destinations were also seized.

It is learnt that those detained for possession of the rice were mostly smugglers and that they were in cahoots with the rice cartel.

They would also act as the eyes and ears of the cartel to keep track of enforcement movements, said Hasan. – NST

by Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah

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