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Friday September 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday September 20, 2013 MYT 8:36:23 AM
by desiree tresa gasper
Tools of the crime: Sabtu (left) looking on as one his officers inspects a fuel pump, while other officers check lorries and equipment at the smugglers base in Sungai Rengit, Pengerang.
PENGERANG: A multi-million ringgit diesel smuggling racket, fed by lorries transporting subsidised fuel from all over the country, was cracked by authorities in one of the biggest busts this year.
Swooping on the syndicate operating from a private property along Sungai Rengit on Monday, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consume-rism Ministry officers seized 5,600 litres of diesel, worth over RM3mil.
Special taskforce head Sabtu Ibrahim said initial investigations found that the syndicate was selling the diesel from a jetty on the property to vessels plying international waters.
“Our officers have been staking out the area for over a week before raiding the premises at around 3.30am. It’s a large operation with lorries transporting subsidised diesel from various petrol stations throughout Peninsula Malaysia.
“The diesel would then be transferred into smaller tanks or vessels at the premises here,” he told reporters in Sungai Rengit here yesterday.
During the raid, Sabtu said officers had found a jetty on the premises as well as three vessels in the midst of being filled up with subsidised diesel.
“We detained 20 crewmen on board these vessels,” he said, adding that the men, including Indonesians and Myanmar nationals, were aged between 20 and 60 years.
“We also seized six skid tanks and appliances to transfer oil. The total cost of items seized is about RM3.14mil. This is the biggest bust this year,” said Sabtu, adding that the operation was jointly carried out with officers from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
The syndicate, he added, had avoided paying about RM336,000 in taxes by selling the diesel illegally, adding that the authorities were still trying to determine the identity of the operation’s mastermind.
He said that the officers were also trying to see if the jetty was illegal.
The case was being investigated under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 and under the Merchant Shipping Ordinate (MSO) 1952, he said.
Tags / Keywords:
Courts & Crime, rengit, kpdnkk, kota tinggi, diesel, smuggling
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