Customs seizes smuggled rice

Mohammad Hamiddan (right) and customs officers with the 67,500kg of rice seized at the Customs Complex in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: The Customs Department seized RM405,688 worth of “Ponni Steamed Rice” weighing 67,500kg in a container falsely declared as putty powder.

State Customs Department director Mohammad Hamiddan Maryani said enforcement officers conducted checks on three six-metre high containers at about 7pm on March 5.

He said under the Customs Information System, the shipment was declared in the BK1 form as ferrying 2,700 bags of putty powder.

“The containers were in fact filled with rice bags of the same quantity and weight.

“The rice is valued at RM273,375 and its duty at RM132,313,” he said at a press conference here.

Mohammad Hamiddan added that an import licence must be obtained from the Paddy and Rice Industry Division under the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry in order to import rice into the country.

The case is classified under Section 133(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967, which carries a fine of not more than RM500,000 or jail term of up to five years or both.

He urged the public to help the depar­tment in eradicating illegal smuggling activities, as the country will suffer losses in terms of revenue.

“People make quick profit by smuggling controlled and prohibited items such as rice, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs without thinking of the public’s interest,” he said.

Mohammad Hamiddan assured that the identity of whistleblowers would be kept anonymous and they would be rewarded in cash for information that leads to a successful case.

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