It has come to our attention that over the last few months, at least five containers loaded with liquor, electrical goods and general cargo have vanished from within a “secure” port storage area in Port Klang. The insurance companies concerned state that the number of missing containers has been rising over the past few years, but little has been done to check/investigate these. According to the New Straits Times, Malaysia now has the highest rate of container hijacking and warehouse robbery in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
A recent example of these crimes was where a container load of liquor arrived at Westport. Since the paperwork to clear the container out of the port takes five days, it was stored there. However, when the receiver arrived to take delivery of the container on the fifth day, he was told that the 20-foot container, complete with its cargo of 700 cases of liquor, was missing. After several days of checking, the port authority produced documents to show that the container had been checked out using false documents as general cargo. The receiver was covered by insurance for his loss, but under the Customs Act, the intended recipient is still liable to pay the duty for the goods that had arrived although he did not take delivery.
While the police have been successful in retrieving some of the goods after they have been smuggled out of the bonded area, little seems to be being done to stop the pilferage at the port itself.
Although regulations require that documents and manifests must be in order before goods are allowed to be taken out, cases of fake and forged documents being used to smuggle goods out of the area continue.
Members are advised to ensure that all paperwork is kept fully up to date with shipments of goods that are likely to be targeted by thieves in Port Klang. Monitoring the progress of shipments once they have arrived in the port on a daily basis might also prove to be a deterrent.
Source of information: Loss Prevention Department