Quiet house by day, fake booze processing and supply den by night

JOHOR BARU: It was an unassuming double-storey house quietly tucked away in a populous housing area here.

But, it also happens to have been an illegal booze processing centre.

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the house in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah in Skudai was believed to have been actively supplying counterfeit alcohol of various brands to local watering holes and private parties for the past five months.

However, these activities were thwarted when police raided the centre at around 8.10am on Monday, seizing barrels of counterfeit alcohol and equipment worth RM3.1mil.

“We arrested two locals and four foreigners, believed to be workers.

“The house was loaded with cartons of alcohol and barrels of liquor with different mixes to produce the various brands of counterfeit alcohol,” said Ayob Khan.

Police also seized some 20,000 fake Customs Department seals that would have been slapped on the bottles of alcohol.

He added that among the seized items were more than 260 cartons of counterfeit alcohol of various popular brands and more than 3,400 litres of liquor of different alcohol percentages.

Also seized were water pumps, bench drilling machines, a lorry, a car and seven mobile phones.

Ayob Khan said those arrested were lower-level members of the syndicate.

The mastermind of the syndicate was still at large.

Police are investigating the case under Section 135(1) of the Customs Act and Section 75 of the Excise Act 1976 for making illegal booze and evading taxes.

He added that from July 1 until Aug 2, the General Operations Force Battalion 5 had arrested 10 locals and 12 foreigners for similar offences, with a total seizure value of more than RM4.51mil.

He urged the public to continue channelling tips to police to help combat illegal activities and keep the people safe.

“Other than illegal premises, we will also conduct checks at outlets and retailers during special raids from time to time,” said Ayob Khan.

He added that those with information can contact the police operations centre at 07-225 4074.

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