PORT KLANG: The “insiders” in the Customs and Excise Department may have struck again.
Beer and wine valued at more than RM280,000 were imported into the country and declared as foodstuff.
But quick-thinking Selangor Customs officers were one up on the smugglers. They foiled the scam in time.
This is the second such incident over the past two weeks.
On Dec 3, Customs enforcement officers recovered six containers of beer, brandy, whisky and wine worth RM880,000 meant for export but were diverted back into the country with falsified documents.
Initial investigations pointed to an “inside job.”
Selangor Customs deputy-director (Preventive) Zainul Taib, who appeared ruffled, said the latest incident could also be an inside job.
“This is because the documents were manipulated and had gone undetected until the tip-off,” he said.
Zainul said smuggling activities using falsified documents were becoming rampant.
“The beer and wine in the three containers were worth RM286,156, and if the smugglers had been successful it would have been a lottery for them as the tax on foodstuff is much less.
“Duty on the seized items is estimated at RM1mil,” he added.
Zainul said the department might get risk management firms to investigate and nab the culprits.
Zainul said these smuggling cases were complex as the consignment usually carried fake names and addresses.
“Sometimes, the liquor is meant for export, but the documents are altered and the consignment is mounted onto a trailer and taken out of the port area.
“It might seem simple to nab the smugglers, but we have a few thousand containers moving around in a day,” he said.