The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) will be conducting a thorough study on the system and operating system at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Customs Cargo Complex to get rid of loopholes that are being exploited by international smuggling syndicate.

Its assistant director-general (Operations), Datuk Mohd Pudzi Man said among the aspects that the department would focus on would be handling of merchandise using fake address and improving the procedures for the acceptance of goods from arrival until the goods were out for delivery.

He also said based on the number of smuggling cases using fake address that had been foiled by the KLIA Customs Department at the Air Cargo Warehouse in the KLIA Free Trade Zone, such an issue must be curbed to prevent KLIA from becoming a smuggling hub due to weaknesses in system and procedures.

"There were seized merchandise that were found to have used the free trade zone as the shipment address but (later) trying to be taken out (of the complex) using documents approved by the Customs Department with the address of other companies...This has to be stopped," he told a press conference here, Wednesday.

Mohd Pudzi said such cases were not easy to curb as the operations at the cargo complex involved various parties.

"We will cooperate with all stakeholders at KLIA to review the operating methods being used at the moment as we believe that the smuggling activities by the international syndicates are taking place by exploiting the current system and procedures," he said.

He had called the press conference to announce that the KLIA Customs Department had foiled attempts to smuggle in 300kg of pangolins and 23 pieces of elephant ivory weighing 75kg worth RM3.86 million and RM275,000, respectively in two cases at the cargo complex last Sunday.

Mohd Pudzi said the pangolins were discovered in six gunny sacks labelled as "fish maw" (dried swim bladders) in the airway bills after arriving on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The elephant ivory, found in two boxes, were flown in on an Etihad Airways flight from Lagos, Nigeria via Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Both prohibited items used KLIA as fake final destinations, he said.

The KLIA Customs had crippled five smuggling attempts for 1,696kg of pangolins valued at over RM21.23 million this year, Mohd Pudzi added.