JOHOR BARU, May 7 — The state Royal Malaysian Customs Department has foiled attempts to smuggle and confiscated alcoholic drinks, firecrackers and cigarettes of various brands, estimated to be worth RM2.142 million, including tax, in raids at three separate locations in the state recently.
Its director Datuk Mohammad Hamidan Maryani said the raids were conducted on May 3 and yesterday by the Sungai Pulai Customs Enforcement Division, Gelang Patah, following information from the public.
He said all the seized items were believed to have been smuggled from a neighbouring country for the local market.
In the first raid four days ago (May 3), he said, the Customs team raided a double-storey terrace house in Taman Bukit Indah, at 2.45pm, believed to have been used as a temporary store.
“Our checks found three commodities — alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and firecrackers. In the case of alcoholic drinks, we seized 3,854.24 litres of beer, 1,509.05 litres of imported liquor and 372.85 litres of local liquor.
“We also seized 383,600 cigarettes and 704 kilogrammes of firecrackers. All the confiscated goods were worth RM79,719.58 with tax amounting to RM461,917.48,” he told reporters here today.
He said in the raid, three men, age between 26 and 39, who were at the premises, were detained in connection with the case.
The case is being investigated under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967 and Section 34 (1) of Excise Act 1976.
In the second raid early yesterday morning, Mohammad Hamidan said his team detained a lorry at Jalan Susur 1, Kampung Sri Paya near Kulai, and confiscated 100 master cases with one million cigarettes of the Canyon brand worth RM80,000 with tax worth RM668,000.
In this case, the lorry driver, 52, was also detained.
The case is being investigated under Section 135 (1) (e) of the Customs Act 1967,” he said.
Mohamad Hamidan said the department also found a lorry parked at the side of Jalan Sri Putri 3/1 near Kulai at 6.30pm yesterday.
“Upon checking the lorry which was not locked and had no driver, we found 114 master cases of cigarettes of the brand VSON Virginia Blend or 1,140,00 million sticks of cigarettes worth RM91,200 and tax of RM761,520,” he said.
Mohammad Hamidan said the department believed all the smuggling syndicates used water and land routes for their activities.
“It is the biggest raid in the first week of this month alone. The confiscated goods for the three cases are worth RM250,919.58 with tax of RM 1.9 million.
“However, the three syndicates are believed not to be connected together and we are still investigating when they became active,” he said. — Bernama