Sarawak Marine Police seize RM30m worth of illicit cigarettes, alcohol in biggest raid this year

Aidi (right) inspects the contraband seized from the Tanjung Kunyit raid. At left is Collin. — Borneo Post Online pic
Aidi (right) inspects the contraband seized from the Tanjung Kunyit raid. At left is Collin. — Borneo Post Online pic

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SIBU, March 31 — Sarawak Marine Police Region 5 has scored its biggest contraband bust so far this year with the seizure of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages worth about RM30.14 million during an operation in Tanjung Kunyit on March 12.

State Commissioner of Police Datuk Aidi Ismail said six foreign nationals were arrested in connection with the operation dubbed, ‘Ops Contraband.’

He said acting on public information and intelligence related to smuggling activities, the police came across a barge loaded with several suspicious containers moored at a private jetty while patrolling Tanjung Kunyit waters at about 12.40pm on March 12, .

“On inspection, we found 18 containers containing liquor of various brands and one container containing cigarettes with a total estimated seizure (including taxes and the barge) of RM30,137,383.24,” he told a press conference here this morning

Also at the press conference included Sibu division deputy police chief Supt Collin Babat.

Aidi said during the operation, police had waited about 10 hours for individuals to claim ownership of the barge as well as the containers but no one came forward.

At about 10.50pm, he said the police cut the locks of the containers and found it containing liquors of different brands.

“At about 11pm, the lock of another container was cut and inside contained Royal Stout type liquor,” he added.

He said the six foreign nationals, who were the crew of the barge, were arrested and the case was investigated under Section 135(d) of the Customs Act 1967.

Aidi said the police will continue to upgrade its operations and tighten border control in order to combat smuggling activities of contrabands at the border where these smuggling syndicates were seen to be constantly changing tactics.

He described the contraband bust of Tanjung Kunyit raid as one of the biggest successes thus far this year.

He also urged members of the public to provide or channel any information on related smuggling activities to the police. — Borneo Post Online

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