In an agreement that took place during a virtual workshop on 3 to 5 November, custom officials from the ASEAN and Australia have joined forces to eliminate illegal tobacco that affects billion-dollar worth of losses in revenue.
Chairperson of the ASEAN Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group Sazali Mohamad highlighted the collaboration’s importance in his remarks, stating that this activity is also the first of its kind conducted by ASEAN and its dialogue partner.
Meanwhile, Australian Border Force (ABF) Commander Greg Linsdell, Lead of Australia’s Illicit Tobacco Taskforce, highlighted organized crime networks’ activities in smuggling illicit tobacco across many borders. It is said that illicit tobacco are also being used to fund other illegal activities.
The Task Force will commence in 2021.
The workshop, which also aims to strengthen the custom’s cooperation of ASEAN and Australia, was hosted by the ABF and supported by the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation.