JOHOR BARU: The Customs Department seized more than RM2.1mil worth of smuggled fireworks, cigarettes and liquor in a series of raids in Taman Bukit Indah and Kulai here.
State Customs director Datuk Mohammad Hamiddan Maryani (pic) said the contraband was confiscated from May 3 to May 6 at three different locations.
"The first seizure was made during a raid at 2.45pm last Friday (May 3) at a two-storey house at Jalan Indah, Taman Bukit Indah, where we found liquor, fireworks, and cigarettes.
"The Customs team found 3,854 litres of beer, 1,509 litres of imported liquor, and 372 litres of local liquor aside from 704kg of fireworks and 383,600 sticks of cigarettes.
"The confiscated items are worth RM79,719 with tax valued at RM461,917," he said.
Mohammad Hamiddan was met by reporters at a press conference at Menara Kastam Johor Baru here on Tuesday (May 7).
He added that three people were arrested during the raid. All suspects were aged between 26 and 39.
The second and third raids were conducted on May 6 (Monday) at 6.40am and 6.30pm, respectively.
It started in Kampung Sri Paya, Kulai where Customs personnel stopped a lorry for inspection and the driver tried to run away.
"The 52-year-old driver was then apprehended. Inspections inside the lorry revealed 100 boxes of cigarettes valued at RM80,000 with tax worth RM668,000.
"Meanwhile, in the third raid, our team noticed a suspicious lorry parked at Jalan Sri Putri 3/1, Kulai.
"A search uncovered 114 boxes of cigarettes worth RM91,200 and tax of RM761,520," he said.
The contraband is believed to have been smuggled through land and sea transport.
"We also believe that the seized items were meant for distribution in Johor, especially for the foreign workers who are working in the state."
The first case was investigated under section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 and Section 34(1) of the Excise Act 1976.
The second case is investigated under section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967 while the third case is being investigated under section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967.
The arrested suspects can be fined not less than 10 times the value of the goods or RM100,000 (whichever is higher) and not more than 20 times the value of goods or RM500,000 (whichever is higher) or face imprisonment not less than six months and not more than five years or both.