Johor Customs seizes contraband liquor worth over RM200,000, lorry driver arrested

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Customs Department has seized contraband liquor worth more than RM200,000 during an inspection of a five-tonne lorry along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Kuala Lumpur.

State director Sazali Mohamad said its enforcement team had received a tip-off over the matter and followed the lorry in Kuala Lumpur, which was driven in a suspicious manner.

“The inspection was conducted at about 10am on July 1 after we managed to cut off the lorry while it was making a U-turn in front of a hotel.

“A car, which we believe to be a ‘tonto’, was also following the lorry from behind but escaped after realising the presence of our enforcement team,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (July 14).

An inspection inside the lorry found 7,382 bottles of liquor (1,420 litres) with unpaid taxes worth RM246,085.

“The lorry is believed to be on its way to deliver the liquor to a storage place.

“The liquor is hidden inside the lorry which has no logo to avoid being detected by the enforcement agency,” he said, adding that the 40-year-old lorry driver was arrested to help with the investigation.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967, which carries a fine of up to 20 times of the amount of the duty or RM500,000, whichever is higher, or a jail term of up to five years, or both upon conviction.

In a separate case, Sazali said it raided a two-storey terrace house in Taman Maju in Batu Pahat at about 12.30pm on July 7 and found RM651,804 worth of illicit cigarettes.

“Checks found 50 cartons of cigarettes stored downstairs while another 310 cartons were found on the second floor.

“All 738,400 sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized and investigation is still ongoing to find out the owner of the premises,” he said, adding that the house was locked and is believed to have been used as a store before the cigarettes were sold in the local market.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 for possession or sale 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.

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