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The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) has so far stopped 82 attempts to smuggle subsidised fuel worth RM2.75 million since Ops Titik began on May 15 to curb misappropriation of subsidised fuel.

Among them, its Perlis office has raided a construction company in Kuala Perlis and seized 3,000 litres of subsidised diesel after it detected that construction companies were smuggling subsidised fuel.

Another raid at a warehouse in a village near the Malaysia-Thailand border at Wang Kelian has also resulted in a seizure of 5,000 litres of petrol filled in 23 drums. Early investigations showed that a syndicate stored the fuel bought in the state in the warehouse before smuggling it into a neighbouring country.

According to Razali, the illegal sale of petrol and diesel has decreased compared to last year. As of May 19, 96,899 litres of petrol and 3,267 litres of diesel with equipment worth more than RM223,000 were confiscated in 68 cases. By comparison, 114,125 litres of petrol and 12,668 litres of diesel and used equipment worth more than RM301,300 were seized in 120 cases last year.

Razali also said that KPDNKK has identified many hot spots used for fuel storage – including construction sites – but they cannot be monitored thoroughly due to a lack of staff.

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In another case, Kelantan KPDNKK officers have seized a lorry attempting to smuggle subsidised diesel at a petrol kiosk in Guchil Jaya. The lorry was said to feature a modified tank that could hold some 30,000 litres of fuel. Enforcement chief Abdul Ghani Harun said the syndicate involved used the modified lorries to fill up at several petrol kiosks before selling the diesel to factories.

In Kuala Terengganu, KPDNKK officers detained a lorry driver and seized a lorry laden with 500 litres of subsidised diesel after a raid on a petrol station in Kampung Wakaf Tengah. “We found 500 litres of diesel worth RM1,000 in the fuel tank of the lorry,” Kuala Terengganu deputy director Alwi Abdul Hamid told reporters, adding that the modified fuel tank can hold some 5,000 litres of fuel.

Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said the integrated enforcement team would continue to raid hotspots to stop the smuggling of diesel, RON 95 petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), adding that the government is in the process of studying other mechanisms to combat the smuggling of subsidised fuel.

“We are working with the Customs and Excise Department, Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Immigration Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to prevent abuse of subsidy,” he told reporters after the ministry’s monthly assembly.