JOHOR BARU: A bid to smuggle more than 2,000 bottles of liquor worth over RM100,000 through a foreign-registered ship was foiled when the Johor Customs Department detained the Indonesian crew.
The liquor was part of contraband goods seized by the department, which, in another operation, also seized 1,200 cans of beer worth over RM21,000.
State Customs director Mohammad Hamiddan Maryani said the vessel was impounded during a joint operation with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) within Tanjung Penyusop waters on Sept 16.
“Our marine Customs and MMEA conducted checks on the vessel and found 2,172 bottles of liquor hidden in the cargo area.
“The trade value of the liquor is valued at RM19,404 and its tax is at RM94,416, ” he told a press conference also attended by Johor MMEA director First Admiral Aminuddin Abdul Rashid at Menara Kastam here yesterday.
Mohammad Hamiddan said the 10 Indonesian crewmen, aged between 22 and 50, were held and the vessel and liquor seized for investigations into the case.
Aminuddin said MMEA and Customs would continue to work closely to safeguard the country’s borders.
“This is part of the National Blue Ocean Strategy where agencies come together and conduct operations, ” he said.
In the second operation conducted by Customs enforcement officers on the same day at around 3.30pm, Mohammad Hamiddan said an inspection of a Toyota Alphard in Taman Austin here yielded cans of beer with a trade value of RM3,000 and tax of RM18,496.
He urged the public to channel information on any smuggling activities to the department at its toll-free number 1-800-88-8855.