Police arrest two for distributing contraband

JOHOR BARU: An attempt to distribute smuggled contraband cigarettes from a neighbouring country in the wee hours was foiled with the arrest of two syndicate members in Kota Tinggi district.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the men, aged 25 and 32, the lorry driver and a guard following in a car from behind were nabbed on Jan 15, at around 2am.

He said the suspects were detained at the intersection of Desaru along KM41.5 of Jalan Johor Baru-Kota Tinggi after the police got a tip off on the smuggling activities in the district.

“The driver failed to produce the relevant documents when requested by our men after he was asked to pull over during the operation,” Comm Mohd Mokhtar told a press conference on Friday.

He said police discovered 400 corrugated boxes containing 20,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes under the brand name Canyon worth RM800,000 believed to be smuggled from a neighbouring country via the sea route.

Comm Mohd Mokhtar said initial investigation showed that one of the suspects had previous criminal records and they have been remanded to assist police in the case.

“We will continue to work closely with the other relevant enforcement agencies including the Customs Department to eradicate smuggling activities via sea route,” he said.

In a separate case police raided a mini casino operating from a shop house in Taman Sutera Utama here on Jan 15, at around 2.45am and arrested six males and a female, aged 25 and 36, for gambling.

Comm Mohd Mokhtar said that the mini casino had been operating for about two weeks from a family entertainment outlet which was closed down for operating without licence.

“This mini casino is only known to certain people as not everyone can enter the place as it is equipped with the CCTV,” he said police seized among others RM26,000 and SG$861 cash as betting money from the gamblers.

The case is being investigated under section 4(1)(a) of the Open House Gambling Act 1953.

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