KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — An unnamed Malaysian man has been sentenced to five years’ jail in Australia for smuggling in over six million cigarettes and dodging tax totalling A$4 million (RM11.62 million).
The Australian Border Force (ABF) said the man who is one of two syndicate organisers had pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court and was sentenced last Wednesday. He is not eligible for parole for three years.
“Following his release from prison, the individual will be removed from Australia,” the ABF said in a statement on its website yesterday.
The other smuggling syndicate organiser, also a Malaysian, pleaded guilty but his sentencing will only be decided in April.
The ABF said the duo were nabbed trying to flee Australia on August 13, 2017.
Both men were arrested and charged with organising the import of the six million smuggled cigarettes that originated from Malaysia and were said to be concealed within sophisticated cover loads.
Three days prior to the arrest in 2017, the ABF said three Malaysians were located in two factories unpacking the tobacco.
“All three were subsequently arrested and charged under the Customs Act 1901, with possession of tobacco products, knowing that the goods were imported with the intention of defrauding revenue.
“They were convicted and sentenced to between 16 to 24 months imprisonment for their involvement in the importations,” the statement read.