JOHOR BARU, Sept 12 — The southern region (Region Two) marine police have seized 157,000 packs of contraband cigarettes worth more than RM2.7 million during a raid in a secondary jungle near the Tanjung Kelisa beach in Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi today.
Region Two marine police deputy commander Superintendent Noor Azman Jamal said the raiding team initiated the raid at about 2.30am based on information and after a four-hour surveillance of the area.
“Before the raid, several men were seen loading the contraband cigarettes into a three-tonne Nissan UD lorry at the exit of the secondary jungle near the beach.
“However, the suspects managed to flee into the jungle just as police started to raid the area,” said Noor Azman at a press conference at the Region Two marine police base in Tampoi here today.
Noor Azman said a search by the raiding team found boxes stacked in the back of the lorry that contained 157,000 contraband cigarette packs of various brands.
He said the seizure amounted to RM2.7 million, while the lorry was estimated to be RM90,000, making the total seizure to RM2.79 million.
Initial investigations revealed that the illicit cigarettes were from a neighbouring country and the syndicate responsible was active since last year.
Noor Azman also revealed that the syndicate members were skilled avoiding detection by authorities by covering the lorry’s tyre marks when it enters into the untarred dirt roads in the area.
He said it was one of the tactics employed by the syndicate to avoid detection.