Murky procurement of 'blacklisted' X-ray scanners

Wong Kai Hui

Modified 8 Jul 2020, 6:40 am

SPECIAL REPORT | "There was a 40-foot container full of imported potatoes, and we couldn't see what was there at that small corner. However, the scanner enabled us to discover that more than 100kg of drugs were mixed in the potatoes, and we seized the drugs. Without this facility, we simply can’t detect that."

"... Firearms, for example, a pistol, maybe hidden on the wall of the container. We can also see the shape of the firearm through the scanner. Even if you open the container to check, you can't see it at all," said then director-general of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) during Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings in 2014.

Customs inspection is the first line of defence against smuggling. Besides the constraints of human visual inspection, it’s impossible for the customs officer to inspect the containers by opening them one by one as there are thousands shipping in and out at the ports...

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