PORT KLANG, Dec 24 — An attempt by three companies to smuggle in 112,560 litres of zam-zam water worth over RM2.5 million flopped after the misdeed was discovered by the Selangor Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) during inspections at West Port recently.
JKDM Putrajaya assistant director-general (enforcement), Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir, said in a press conference today that a stash of 38,850 litres of zam-zam water with an estimated value of RM874,125 in 3,885 10-litre bottles was found on October 7 in two containers with cargo declared as food from the Middle East.
On December 16, 73,710 litres in similar bottles with an estimated value of RM1.65 million was found in three containers with cargo declared as household goods.
“Zam-zam water is prohibited from being exported by Saudi Arabia. The three companies involved didn’t have a permit from the Health Department to bring it in either.
“It is being sold a lot here, but its purity can’t be ascertained. We need to highlight this to prevent people from being conned,” he said.
Early investigations show the modus operandi of all three textile trading companies is similar, said Abdul Latif, who is also not ruling out the possibility of a link between them.
He said the company directors who come from here, as well as a delivery company director, are being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 and Excise Act 1976.
He said JKDM Selangor also busted a syndicate involved in smuggling alcohol and cigarettes (rokok putih) in two inspections at Port Klang a short time ago.
On December 17, at a warehouse, 27,209 litres of alcohol in tins and bottles, with an estimated value of RM136,046 and duty worth RM425,145 was found hidden in a container with cargo declared as water jet machines.
“On December 19, at North Port, nine million sticks of cigarettes with an estimated value of RM720,000 and duty worth RM4.15 million were found in a container with cargo declared as personal essentials,” said Abdul Latif.
Customs is hunting down those involved, and the case is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 and Excise Act 1976, as well.
Abdul Latif appealed to the public to come forward with information on smuggling activities and gave his guarantee that their identity would be kept secret. — Bernama