BUKIT MERTAJAM: Police crippled a contraband cigarette syndicate with the arrest of 12 suspects following a raid on three rented houses here.
Penang police chief Comm Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said a total of 4.06 million sticks of white cigarettes and 691,200 sticks of unfiltered cigarettes, worth a total of RM7.8mil, were seized during the raid at about 5am on Saturday (June 26).
"Three rented houses in Machang Bubok and Bukit Tengah were raided following surveillance by police.
"We believe the suspects obtained their supplies from neighbouring countries and have been active in the northern region for the past four months.
"The suspects are all local men, aged from 18 to 38.
"Five of them have criminal records involving drugs, gambling and violations of the Customs Act," Comm Sahabudin said at a press conference at the central Seberang Prai police headquarters in Bandar Perda on Monday (June 28).
He added that nine vehicles worth about RM236,000 were also seized during the operation, dubbed "Op Kontraban".
He said all suspects have been remanded for 13 days under Section 116 of the Customs Act to facilitate investigation under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967.