Four Customs Dept officers charged with releasing seized contraband-laden containers in Pasir Gudang port last year

Cigarettes seized by the Royal Malaysian Customs are pictured in Perai July 29, 2020. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Cigarettes seized by the Royal Malaysian Customs are pictured in Perai July 29, 2020. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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PUTRAJAYA, April 22 — Four Customs Department officers have been charged in the Sessions Court here with releasing two containers filled with illicit cigarettes from the Pasir Gudang Port late last year.

However, all four accused, attached with the Negri Sembilan Customs Department, claimed trial to two separate charges.

Muhammad Faizulhidi Abd Manan, 33, Nazril Md Yusoof, 41, Mohd Zaufan Mohd Yusof, 42, and Muhammad Najib Mohd Roby, 34, pleaded not guilty to two charges against them in front of two different judges.

For the first charge, the four were alleged to have released a trade item in the form of cigarettes inside a container, which had been seized at the Pasir Gudang Port between 2.41am and 6.30pm on November 18, 2020.

They allegedly committed an offence under Section 136(B) of the Customs Act 1967 and can be sentenced under Section 136(I) of the same Act, which is read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

The offence carries a prison sentence of not more than five years or a fine of not more than RM500,000, or both upon conviction.

Judge Wan Mohd Norisham Wan Yaakob, who presided, set the next mention date on June 20 and allowed a bail amount of RM7,000 each, with one surety, against the four accused.

Meanwhile, in a separate court, the four accused also pleaded not guilty in front of Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail after they were charged with a similar offence.

For the second charge, the four were alleged to have released another seized container containing cigarettes at the Pasir Gudang Port on the same date and time.

They allegedly committed an offence under Section 136(B) of the Customs Act 1967 and can be sentenced under Section 136(I) of the same Act, which is read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

Ahmad Kamal then set the next mention on June 20 and the bail amount was fixed at RM7,000 each, with one surety against the four accused.

Customs Department prosecution officer Khairul Nizam Abu Bakar prosecuted the case, while lawyers Mohd Hamizi Mohd Yusof and Ahmad Khairudin Khalid represented the four accused.

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