PETALING JAYA: Over 45 million contraband cigarettes seized by the Federal Territory Customs Department since 2011 will be destroyed this month.
The cigarettes, consisting various brands, weigh 81 tonnes and have a value of RM5.6mil and RM22mil in unpaid taxes.
The department's deputy director, Jaafar Mat Jawi, said the cigarettes comprised 20 brand names, including kretek (clove) cigarettes such as Gudang Garam, Djarum, Surya, Dji Sam Soe, Gerbang Gapura, Sejathera, LA Light, Fit Mild, Trend Mild and Potenza.
“White cigarettes are made up of brands such as Luffman, Era, League, Canyon, John, Manchester, Cordon, Torch, Promax, Stallion, Supreme, Lava, Lavish, Pine Prime and Zon King,” he said at the Customs Complex in Kelana Jaya here yesterday.
Later, Jaafar oversaw the destruction of 29 tonnes of cigarettes. The remaining 52 tonnes will be destroyed later in Dengkil.
Jaafar said the cigarettes would be destroyed by shredding, burning and burying, and this would be carried out in stages due to the huge amount involved.
The seizures last year were almost double that in 2011 when the department seized 36 million cigarettes with an unpaid tax value of RM15mil (in 2011, it was 22 million sticks and RM6mil in unpaid taxes).
“Our success is largely due to our increased enforcement activities as well as close cooperation and information-sharing with the Health Ministry, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Coalition of Malaysian Tobacco Manufacturers,” he said.
He said that despite the success, the department was fighting a difficult battle as the demand for smuggled cigarettes was very high due to the hefty increase in the price of cigarettes.
In 2003, the excise duty was RM58 for every 1,000 cigarette sticks but after several hikes, by 2010, the duty for 1,000 sticks was RM220.