Confiscated contraband: Customs officers sorting illegal cigarettes seized from a shop in Pasir Mas, Kelantan.
JOHOR BARU: A worker at a sundry shop tried to hide illegal cigarettes under a chicken coop during a night raid by Customs officers but to no avail.
The raiding party found the items after a quick search of the shop in Jalan Anggerik 2/3, Taman Anggerik, as part of the ongoing Ops Outlet crackdown on retailers selling contraband cigarettes.
Foreign workers employed at factories in the vicinity frequented this sundry shop and they were believed to be consumers of illegal cigarettes.
A number of them were at the shop during the raid on Tuesday night, but appeared to be unperturbed by the presence of Customs officers.
In another raid, Customs officers found illegal cigarettes in a large plastic bag kept under the cash till of a sundry shop in Jalan Bukit Kempas 4, Taman Bukit Kempas.
A shop worker then led the officers to a storage area where they found more illegal cigarettes.
More than 20 cartons of illegal cigarettes, which included brands such as John, Canyon, U2, Gudang Garam and Suria, were seized from these two outlets.
In Kelantan, Customs officers raided two telco services shops in Pasir Mas and found illegal cigarettes.
The outlet operators were arrested and are expected to be charged in court soon.
Almost 1,000 retailers nationwide have been detained for selling illegal cigarettes, and about half of those arrested taken to court, since the Customs Department launched Ops Outlet on March 5.