The Customs Department found the consignment, worth RM12.04mil, declared as hubble plates and mechanical stents.
Customs deputy director-general Datuk Johari Alifiah said the June 25 seizure was made possible following three months of intelligence gathering and investigations.
“Initial inspections on the three 40-foot containers led to the discovery of various brands of cigarettes.
“We scrutinised the Customs Form 1 (import) and it showed that the containers were supposed to have been carrying hubble plates and mechanical stents,” he told reporters yesterday.
Johari said the unpaid duties for the cigarettes exceed RM21.07mil.
“We believe the contraband was smuggled via sea from China.
“Three men, including a customs agent, aged between 27 and 36, who are believed to have declared the items in the containers have been detained to assist in investigations,” he said.
Johari said checks showed the syndicate would make false declarations before the items arrived at the port to avoid detection.
“The Customs forms that were declared also used a licensed manufacturer warehouse permit, as well as information on non-critical trade items to deceive evaluators.
“We are in the midst of tracking down several other syndicate members,” he said.
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