Customs tightening Sungai Tujuh checkpoint

MIRI: The Customs Department is tightening checks at the Sungai Tujuh Customs and Immigration checkpoint to prevent subsidised goods from being smuggled into Brunei.

Cooking oil and flour are among the top subsidised items being smuggled out from here.

We are aware of the situation of course. Action and random checks are being done and ongoing, a spokesperson from the local Customs Department said.

Last year, the department seized quantities of these subsidised items from individuals and families crossing the border from here to Brunei.

Meanwhile, local resident Reduan Salam, 47, said it was unfair for the government to subsidise goods for the people only to have foreigners buying the products in large quantities.

It is unfair that these controlled items are being manipulated by foreigners who are taking advantage of the cheap prices and a lack of enforcement by the authorities concerned, he said.

Fellow resident Ali Amit called on the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism to develop methods to prevent such items from going across the border.

These foreigners are now seen using buses to visit and shops in Miri, and the Domestic Trade enforcement officers can also check them out, he said.