PUTRAJAYA: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department foiled 3,012 smuggling attempts involving various goods from January to May, announced Customs director-general Datuk Anis Rizana Mohd Zainuddin.

Speaking at the Compliance Verification Audit (AVIP) launch today, she stated that the goods included cigarettes, alcohol, and other commodities, with the amount of taxes saved amounting to RM303.9 million, as well as drugs.

“There have been numerous issues associated with Customs recently, but this has not dampened the department’s spirit and dedication in fulfilling their responsibility,” she said.

Anis Rizana said that as the nation’s first line of defence, Customs has also implemented several initiatives to prevent revenue leakage, such as introducing online transactions and updating information related to tax policies to facilitate businesses.

“We have also modernised customs clearance procedures by using technology and innovation, such as scanners equipped with artificial intelligence technology to streamline processes,” she said.

Regarding AVIP, she explained that it is a new audit strategy for the 2024-2026 period meant to engage as many business entities as possible, especially those registered or licensed with the Customs Department, based on risk ratings.

This strategy aims to enhance the compliance level of business entities and detect non-compliance to reduce risks or mistakes, which, if not addressed early, could result in greater tax liabilities.