KUANTAN: The Pahang Customs Department seized 2,928 cartons of cigarettes of various brands worth RM49,000 hidden in a house here.
Customs assistant director-general (Enforcement) Datuk Johari Alifiah said the raid was carried out at Lorong Air Putih 6, Taman Klasik, here on March 3, following a public tip-off and an intelligence operation carried out by the state Customs authorities.
“All the cigarettes were found stored in brown boxes arranged under the living room stairs with unpaid duties estimated at RM380,000.
“For now, we are identifying the house owner to track down the individuals who rented the house as there was no one there during the raid, ” he told a press conference at Wisma Customs here yesterday.
Johari reminded house owners to be discerning when renting to tenants as the premises might be misused for illegal activities.
He said the case was being investigated under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967 for possession or selling of smuggled cigarettes, which carries a fine of not less than 10 times the value of the goods or RM100,000, whichever is higher, for the first offence, upon conviction.
In another development, Johari said that from January to March 11,30 investigation papers involving illegal smuggling cases have been opened in Pahang with the highest number being issued in Kuantan.
Twenty-one arrests related to contraband cigarettes and one arrest for liquor smuggling were made with nine cases charged in court involving 19 individuals, recorded in the same period.
“The value of the confiscated smuggled goods during the period is RM102,165.20 with an estimated tax value of RM320,636.22, ” he said.
Johari also urged the public to channel information on any smuggling activities to the department at its toll-free line 1-800-88-8855.
The informants’ identity would be kept confidential. — Bernama
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