ALOR SETAR: The Malaysian Border Security Agency (Aksem) seized 260 boxes of contraband cigarettes worth more than RM1.7mil and four luxury cars worth about RM900,000 in an anti-smuggling raid here on Saturday (Sept 1).
Bukit Kayu Hitam Aksem commander Asst Supt Mohd Khairi Abdullah said following a tip-off, an intelligence team staked out a double-storey semi-detached house in Taman Lavender here on Friday (Aug 31) at 9pm.
"At about 5pm (after nearly 20 hours of surveillance), the team moved into the house, which was unlocked and unoccupied.
"The officers entered the house where they found more than 260 boxes and thousands of cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes piled up inside.
"Further inspection on a black Toyota Estima car parked in the porch revealed more contraband cigarettes loaded inside," ASP Khairi said in a press conference at State Aksem Headquarters at Bangunan KDN Anak Bukit here on Sunday (Sept 2).
Also present was Deputy State Aksem Commander Abd Mutalif Ahmad.
Three other cars in the compound - two Toyota Estima and a Toyota Vellfire - were found loaded with boxes and cartons of contraband cigarettes. The car keys were found inside the house.
"A check of the cars' registration numbers indicated that they were cloned," he said.
The cars bore fake registration numbers and their chassis numbers had been tampered with.
"The process of identifying the actual owners of these cars will be carried out," he added.
According to ASP Khairi, the seized cigarettes comprised of about RM1,108,400 (including duties) of white cigarettes and RM640,800 (including duties) of keretek.
The value of the cars seized was about RM889,200 (including duties).
"Preliminary investigation revealed that the vehicles were used to distribute the cigarettes to various outlets in the state.
"An individual identified by the agency as 'Cina Pendek' was believed to be the mastermind behind the seized items," he said.The seized cigarettes will be handed over to the Customs Department for investigation under Section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967.