KAJANG: The Customs Department has crippled two beer smuggling syndicates with the seizure of over RM1.88mil worth of beer.
Customs assistant director-general Datuk Zazuli Johan said a team of enforcement division personnel raided a warehouse in Balakong, Selangor, at around 11am on April 5.
"We seized 72,486 litres of alcohol worth RM431,748 with duties worth an estimated RM1.148mil.
"We also impounded a lorry and forklift worth at least RM85,000 from the location," he said in a statement on Wednesday (April 20).
He said they also arrested a local man and a foreigner aged 51 and 27 respectively, adding that both suspects were charged at the Kajang Magistrate’s Court under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act and Section 74(1)(a) of the Excise Act.
Zazuli said on the same day they also raided another warehouse in the same area and seized 15,022 litres of alcohol worth RM75,114 with duties worth RM234,731.
"We seized another forklift and a van worth RM55,000 and arrested four suspects including three foreigners aged between 34 and 44."
The four suspects, he added, were also charged at the same court under the same laws.
Zazuli said that investigations revealed that the alcohol was imported without a valid licence and without paying taxes and duties.
"Further investigations showed that the syndicates had used the warehouses in industrial areas as transit points before distributing the goods to outlets around the Klang Valley," he said.
Zazuli urged the public to come forward with any information on such activities and to refrain from getting involved in them.
Those with information can contact the Customs toll-free hotline at 1800-88-8855 or go to the nearest Customs Department office.
"I can assure those with information that their identities will be kept anonymous," he said.