GEORGE TOWN, Nov 16 ― Penang Region One Marine Police successfully uncovered a storage facility for contraband cigarettes and seized 490 boxes containing 24,500 cartons valued at RM5.12 million, in a raid dubbed Ops Taring Landai Kontraband at Jalan Choong Lye Hock here, last Tuesday.

Its commander ACP Shamsol Kassim, said that the 6pm raid was conducted after 48 hours of surveillance but no one was found at the premises.

“We have been monitoring the two-storey house since November 12 but saw no one entering the premises. On November 14 a raid was conducted and 490 boxes containing 24,500 cigarette cartons estimated to be worth RM5.12 million including taxes, were seized.

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“This is the largest illicit cigarette haul in Penang for this year, and we are tracking down the premises owner to assist in the investigation,” he told a press conference at Region One headquarters in Batu Uban, here today.

Elaborating, he said the cigarettes were believed to have been brought in from a neighbouring country and the goods were transferred from one vessel to another while out at sea.

“The cigarette boxes are wrapped in plastic to prevent them from getting wet during the transfer process.

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“The goods are later stored at certain premises before being distributed to the local market,” he said adding that the case was being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967. ― Bernama