Customs officers flush out inventive ciggy smugglers

JOHOR BARU: Smugglers in Johor have become more creative, using a lorry converted into a mobile toilet to hide and dispense contraband, including clove cigarettes, around the state.

Johor Customs Department director Sazali Mohamad said their tactics were exposed when enforcement officers from its Sungai Pulai unit raided a warehouse in Kelapa Sawit, Kulai at 11.50pm on Feb 28.

He said the warehouse was locked and no one was inside at the time.

"Some 184,200 sticks of illegal cigarettes and 32,960 clove cigarettes were seized worth RM39,748 and RM147,300.40 in unpaid duties and taxes, '' Sazali said in a statement on Thursday (March 4).

He said initial investigations showed that the place was used as a storage and distribution point for the contraband, which was smuggled in from a neighbouring country.

Sazali said using the converted lorry, smugglers were hoping to escape authorities, whom they believed were unlikely to stop and inspect a mobile toilet.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967.

Sazali urged the public to call the Customs Toll Free Line 1-800 88 8855 or the nearest Customs Department office if they have any information on smuggling activities.

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