JOHOR BARU: Customs officers foiled an attempt to smuggle in crates of beer and liquor with an estimated value of M247,201.68, at the causeway on Monday night.
Customs personnel intercepted a 13m-trailer container loaded with 4,400 bottles of hard liquor, 35,472 cans of beer and 9,600 cans of stout.
Johor Customs director Ibrahim Jaapar said the goods were initially declared as aspolymide resin and microfloppy disks – which are non-taxable items – at the import gate of Tanjung Puteri Customs Complex.
Ibrahim said the smuggling attempt would have evaded RM239,951.85 in import duty and RM97,430.71 in sales tax. The lorry driver, who had tried to escape on foot, was detained.
“Alcohol drinks are among the popular items during the festive celebrations. In view of the upcoming Chinese New Year, we have stepped up operations to detect goods such as liquor and firecrackers.
“Customs officers will also perform raids at retail outlets and night markets,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The detained lorry driver, Mohd Sihabuddin Mohd Ali, 37, was charged in a magistrate’s court here yesterday under Section 135(1)(g) of the Customs Act 1967 with evading taxes.
He pleaded guilty and magistrate Normah Ismail fined him RM100,000.