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New wheels for Customs Dept

PUTRAJAYA: In an effort to combat threats posed by tontos at the borders along Peninsular Malaysia, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department has procured 80 Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 four-wheel drive vehicles estimated to be worth RM7.2 million, said its director-general Datuk T. Subromaniam.
"These powerful vehicles are equipped with bull bars and video cameras to safeguard enforcement personnel on duty.
"The cameras are being installed to record the tonto threats and activities. As a warning to the syndicates and their tontos, do not challenge us.
"Interfere with the Customs officers doing their duty and prepare to bear the consequences," he told reporters after the launching ceremony at the Royal Customs Department headquarters, here, today.
Tontos act as runners engaged by smuggling syndicates to monitor the movement of enforcement officers out to nab them.
During the event, Subromaniam inspected the vehicles before handing over mock keys to the respective state heads of the Customs enforcement units.
Stating that tontos have been posing serious threats against Customs officers when they discharge their duties.
"Several dedicated Custom officer have unnecessarily lost their lives to tontos after they had rammed into Customs Department vehicles in the past in an attempt to escape.
"The new vehicles is one of our preventive measures against the tontos so that our officers will not just protect national revenues but be safe as well," he said adding that the department will review the effectiveness of the vehicles by year-end.
He further said the majority of the vehicles will be deployed to the border states such as Kedah, Perlis, Johor and Kelantan as it has been identified as the hot spots for tonto activities

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