KLANG: Four people, three of them foreigners, were jailed and fined by the magistrate’s court here yesterday for selling contraband cigarettes.
Malaysian Shahjahan A M Ismail, Indonesians Heri Fadli and Nasrullah as well as Indian national Kader Ebramza Abu Packar all pleaded guilty as charged.
Shahjahan, 39, was accused of selling 166 packs of the illegal cigarettes valued at RM255.76 at a shop in Bayu Perdana here.
In pleading for leniency, Shahjahan said he was a first-time offender and regretted his action. He asked not to be jailed as he had three school-going children to take care of.
Magistrate Muhd Fadhly Yacob sentenced Shahjahan, who was arrested on March 4, to seven days’ imprisonment from the date of arrest and imposed a fine of RM5,000 or an additional six months’ jail.
Both Heri, 23, and Nasrullah, 19, were also sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment beginning yesterday and fined RM1,000 and RM2,000 respectively.
Heri was caught peddling 39 packs of illegal cigarettes valued at RM61.60 at the Sri Bayu Apartment in Bayu Perdana here while Nasrullah was caught selling 117 packs valued at RM160 at the Sri Angkasa Apartments, also located in Bayu Perdana.
Indian national Kader Ebramza, 39, was nabbed with 37 packs valued at RM47.32 in Taman Chi Liung. He was also sentenced to seven days’ jail and fined RM600.
All three foreigners were arrested on March 4. All four were charged under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967 and punished under Section 135(1) (iii)(aa) of the same Act.
Muhd Fadhly also ordered the three foreigners, who had valid travel documents, to be sent back to their country of origin after serving their respective jail term.
The Customs Department launched Ops Outlet on Wednesday, targeting vendors selling illegal cigarettes and pressing for harsher punishment.
Concerned that Malaysia is now ranked number one in the world for the sale of contraband cigarettes, the Customs Department is also pressing for the maximum sentence against them.
Those caught selling the contraband item face a maximum three years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 20 times the value of the seized item or both under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967. Repeat offenders face a maximum of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to 40 times the value of the item.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad said the department would also push for a compulsory jail term for the offenders to act as a deterrent.