Anti-contraband team to search international gateways

A cargo ship entering Rangoon port in February 2014 (PHOTO: Colin Hinshelwood/DVB)
The Mobile Team, a Burmese government task force responsible for cracking down on illegally imported goods, will expand its operations to include international airports and harbours at the end of June.

Made up of police, custom officials and media workers, the taskforce has attempted to eliminate contraband goods at border checkpoints, warehouses and seaports along the coastline. The team announced that they will begin inspecting international gateways into the country at the end of the month.

Tin Aye Win, director-general of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said that the Mobile Team will first focus its efforts on container terminals, including Asia World Port Terminal, Myanmar Industrial Port Terminal and Bo Aung Gyaw Container Yard.

“As for the airports, Rangoon International is the only facility equipped with an air defence system while Mandalay International Airport has only just begun offering freight services, so we will prioritise inspections at the Rangoon Airport,” he added. “In order to avoid disturbing travellers, we will not be checking bags and personal belongings but will stick to official customs procedures.”

According to data from the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, the Mobile Team has seized almost 2.4 billion kyat (US$2.4 million) in value of contraband in 297 separate cases at border trade areas during the first two months of the 2014-15 fiscal year.

By THANOE WAI (DVB)

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