Customs: Booze seized at Labuan port Jan 2 worth RM1.95m in unpaid taxes

The seven containers seized by the Labuan Customs Department containing some 369,000 cans of alcoholic beverages with an estimated worth of more than RM616,000, excluding tax, are pictured at Labuan Liberty Wharf January 2, 2020. — Bernama pic
The seven containers seized by the Labuan Customs Department containing some 369,000 cans of alcoholic beverages with an estimated worth of more than RM616,000, excluding tax, are pictured at Labuan Liberty Wharf January 2, 2020. — Bernama pic

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LABUAN, Jan 7 — The Labuan Customs Department today revealed that the 124,175.52 litres of alcohol seized from seven 20-footer containers at the Labuan Liberty Wharf last week were worth a total RM595,380 with unpaid taxes amounting to RM1,953,974.60. 

Customs assistant Director-General (Sabah Zone) Datuk Abdullah Jaafar said the importers responsible were currently being investigated.

He said based on an investigation report on December 26, the department found discrepancies in the vessel manifest, which had initially declared drilling equipment and lubricants as its cargo. They turned out to be alcoholic beverages.

“Upon checking the containers, our enforcement team found what had been declared in the manifest was actually fake, as they discovered about 14,300 cartons of Tiger Beer, Royal Stout and Skol Beer in it.

“As such, the confiscated alcoholic drinks has been classified as prohibited goods under Part III of the Second Schedule Customs (Prohibition of Imports) Order 2017, and the case is being investigated under Section 135 (1) (g) of the Customs Act 1967,” he told a media conference at the Labuan Customs Enforcement Office in Kiamsam here today.

He said those found liable were subject to a fine (first offender) of no less than 10 times the amount of unpaid duties or RM100,000, whichever is higher, and no more than 20 times the amount of unpaid duties or RM500,000, whichever is higher, or a jail term of up to five years, or both.

Abdullah said repeat offenders, meanwhile, are subjected to a fine of no less than 20 times the amount of unpaid duties or RM500,000, whichever is higher, and no more than 40 times the amount of unpaid duties or RM1 million, whichever is higher, or a jail term of seven years, or both.

On January 2, Bernama reported how the smuggling attempt unfolded after the seven containers at the Labuan Liberty Wharf, laden with the alcoholic drinks from Singapore and believed to be for local distribution, were seized by Customs officers. — Bernama

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