CONFISCATED ITEMS: What happens to all those seized items?


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magazines like Playboy and Penthouse are confiscated when visitors bring them into the country. Such publications are considered “obscene” and “illegal”. To many adult readers, however, they are collector’s items.

Even young readers can now access online sites to view these and other magazines without committing a crime. In this seamless world, they don’t need the paper version.

To all appearances, we are practising double standards in upholding “morals” and no one is saying anything. Also, nobody has raised the question of where the confiscated magazines are kept.

There is no public record or press report that they have been destroyed in the name of decency. So, where are they?

The suspicion is that once the magazines are confiscated at entry points, they are read by enforcement officers, taken home or shared among themselves. The rationale is that it is neither “indecent” or “illegal” for these officers to retain them. Is this right?

I am also concerned about where drugs that are seized end up. Imagine the huge loss of drugs when they are not accounted for.

In more sophisticated countries, drugs have been stolen and resold to syndicates. What precautions or security measures are taken in Malaysia to ensure that all drugs seized are destroyed after court cases?

We are talking about millions of ringgit worth of drugs and I cannot help wondering whether enforcement units are keeping tabs on the drugs and counting every ounce of them before destruction.

Perhaps the government auditors should look into this issue.

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