KEMAMAN, Sept 5 — A total of 306 million sticks of contraband cigarettes, worth at RM25.4 million, were seized by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department nationwide this year so far.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Paddy Abdul Halim said 1,214 people were arrested for cigarette smuggling offences between January 1 and yesterday, involving a total RM277 million in unpaid duties and taxes.
“Customs will continue to curb cigarette smuggling activity by widening our area of monitoring, such as airports and the country's borders,” he said at the Kemaman Customs Department here today. Also present was Terengganu Customs Director Datuk Radzi Muhamad.
In a related development, he said Terengganu Customs successfully foiled a cigarette smuggling syndicate with the arrest of a 31-year-old lorry driver near the East Coast Highway 2 Kerteh toll plaza last Friday.
Paddy said upon checking the lorry, Custom officers found 113,500 boxes of cigarettes, believed to have been smuggled and worth RM207,200, and with unpaid duties and taxes valued at RM1.5 million.
“Our checks also found that the lorry belonged to a state-subsidiary company and was using a false registration number plate,” he added. — Bernama