Customs records RM5.21mil unpaid taxes

Confiscated: Sarip (centre) showing some of the fireworks seized by Pahang Customs Department in Raub.

KUANTAN: Some RM1.81mil worth of goods were seized by Pahang Customs Depart­ment for the whole of last year.

State director Datuk Sarip Ismail said the department opened 106 investigation papers after the successful raids and seizures.

Sarip said unpaid taxes in all the cases amounted to RM5.21mil.

“Most of the items seized were related to cigarettes, liquor and vehicles.

“We will continue to address smuggling activities particularly contraband cigarettes,” he told a press conference at Wisma Kastam here.

Sarip said last year, 195 retail premises were inspected for contraband cigarettes which saw action taken against 38 offenders with fines amounting to over RM415,000.

He said during the same period, a total of 110 cases were resolved and disposed off involving RM4.66mil.

“For this year, we have already recorded 10 cases including two offenders taken to court.

“Three others are still under remand to assist in investigations,” he said.

Sarip said four of the cases involved cigarettes with unpaid taxes worth over RM14,100, two related to liquor (unpaid taxes RM13,400), one fireworks seizure (RM307,000) and three on other commodities including vehicles (RM172,500).

He said the latest success saw a total of 333 boxes of firecrackers and fireworks worth nearly RM500,000 seized along Jalan Teras Lama near Raub.

Sarip said the driver of the lorry tried to smuggle the illegal items from a neighbouring country by concealing it with oil palm seedlings.

“After realising the presence of our enforcement officers, the driver accelerated before abandoning the vehicle in the middle of the road and fled on foot into the bushes.

“We are tracking down those involved,” he said, adding that the banned items were brought in via Kelantan to be sold in other states ahead of the festive season.

Sarip said total unpaid taxes amounted to nearly RM307,000 and investigation papers would be opened under Section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967.

Those with information on any smuggling activities can contact its toll free line at 1-800-88-8855.

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