Foreigners caught smuggling RM1mil worth of cigarettes

  • Nation
  • Friday, 21 Dec 2007

MYT 6:52:57 PM

IPOH: Four foreigners, believed to be smuggling over RM1mil worth of cigarettes, were arrested after a high-speed boat chase about 12 nautical miles west of Kuala Larut, near Taiping. 

The suspects, aged between 28 and 32, were found with 14,500 cartons of Gudang Garam cigarettes brought in from Indonesia. 

In the 11.10pm incident on Thursday, a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) patrol unit carrying four personnel detected a speeding vessel on their radar. 

The unit, which was patrolling between Pangkor Island and Kuala Gula, gave chase when the vessel refused to stop. 

MMEA northern region head Commodore Zammani Mod Amin said the unit caught up with the vessel about five minutes later. 

“Our men boarded the boat and confiscated the stash of kretek cigarettes found hidden onboard,” he told reporters at a press conference in Lumut, about 98km from here Friday. 

Commodore Zammani added that the men, believed to be Indonesians, did not put up a fight and surrendered immediately. 

“We believe they may have thrown some of their belongings overboard - anything that could link them to their contacts or sources here, like their mobile phones,” he said, adding that no weapons were found on the suspects. 

He said the suspects’ vessel was fitted with four 60hp engines, which allowed it to move at a speed of up to 40 nautical miles per hour. 

The suspects were later remanded for four days until Monday at the Teluk Intan magistrate’s court. 

He added that the case would be investigated as smuggling under Section 135 (1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967.

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