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Customs seize RM2.1mil contraband but owners flee
Published on: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Customs have seized contraband involving beer and cigarettes worth about RM2.13 million involving RM8 million in unpaid taxes, in three separate raids.

Its Deputy Director-General (Enforcement) Datuk Zulkifli Yahya said in the first case, the department seized 1,076 'Cool' beer cartons in a lorry on Jan. 8 at about 9.10pm at Taman Kasigui 3, Penampang.

Zulkifli said personnel carried out inspection on the lorry and discovered that the cartons did not have tax stamps and no proof to show that taxes were paid.

"The cartons also did not have original label from the manufacturer," he told a press conference at Wisma Kastam, here, Wednesday.

Efforts to find the lorry owner is ongoing and the case is being investigated under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967.

As for the second case, two containers camouflaged as detergent and magnesium sulphate heptahydrate were seized in a smuggling attempt on Jan. 12 at around 9.15am during an inspection at the Sepanggar port.

"The containers were found to consist of 'Tiger' beer instead and a 43-year-old Malaysian who worked as a delivery agent was arrested to facilitate investigations," he said, adding that investigations to find the containers owner is still ongoing.

The case was investigated under Section 133 (1) (a) and Section 135 (1) (g) of the Customs Act 1967.

Zulkifli said on the same day, Jan 12, at around 5.30pm in Tawau Port, 10.75 million cigarette sticks were seized in a smuggling attempt.

"Early investigation showed that the cigarettes were attempted to be brought in using an expired permit.

"A 44-year-old Malaysian man, who was the manager of an import company, was arrested to facilitate investigations," he said.

The case was also investigated under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967.

The public is urged to channel any information on smuggling activities by going to the nearest customs offices or contacting its toll-free line (1800-88-8855). - Jegathisan Sivanesan

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