Seized: Royal Malaysia Customs Department officials with smuggled cigarettes and liquor intercepted in August. - File pic PUTRAJAYA: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) collected a total of RM38.67 billion in revenue in 2020, exceeding the initial projection of RM36.30 billion, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz. Speaking at the virtually-held 39th World Customs Day celebration today, he said the achievement was proof of the RMCD’s excellent stature as one of the nation’s topmost revenue collection agency. As an agency directly involved in regulating the cross-border trade sector, RMCD should lead the integrated cooperation among border agencies to boost investment activities and ensure business continuity, Tengku Zafrul said. "Apart from improving the quality and integrity in the service, Customs staff should also be prepared to adapt to changes, including strengthening technological mastery and strengthening compliance with new norm practices to ensure that RMCD’s role remains relevant," he said. Meanwhile, in a statement today, Customs director-general Abdul Latif Kadir said RMCD has managed to detect revenue leakages amounting to an estimated RM5.38 billion last year -- RM2.42 billion more than the target of RM2.96 billion set for the year. Among the leakages detected were tax evasion from the seizure of various goods, other revenues such as settlement of Accounts Receivable -- covering collection, remission, cancellation as well as adjustments and claims bills issued by the department’s Compliance Division, he said. Abdul Latif noted that the RMCD also saw 2,104 cases related to contraband cigarettes worth RM74.97 million, involving RM661.90 million in taxes or duties. "Compared to 2019, this is an increase of 84.41 per cent in terms of the number of cigarettes seized, 83.41 per cent rise in the value of cigarettes confiscated and an increase of 84.41 per cent in duties and taxes," he said. For cases involving liquor and beer, Abdul Latif said RMCD recorded 738 cases with the seizure of an estimated 1.74 million litres worth RM22.36 million, involving duty or tax of RM45.24 million. On cases involving the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora agreement, he said red sandalwood was one of the biggest commodities seized by RMCD in 2020 at 24,786 kilogrammes, worth an estimated RM7.8 million. - Bernama
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