Sabah Customs seizes RM300,000 worth of pork falsely declared as french fries


KOTA KINABALU: Smugglers attempted to sneak in pork worth RM300,000 by falsely declaring the consignment as containing only french fries at the Tawau port in Sabah's east coast.

However, the Customs Department foiled the move after scanning the container that came in from Hong Kong on Monday (March 6), said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad said Customs personnel stopped the container for a scan after reviewing its manifest.

"They became more suspicious after scanning the container and carried out a physical check," he said to reporters after an inspection at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) here on Tuesday (March 7).

"It turned out that there was pork and french fries following the check," he added.

Ahmad said the pork was valued at some RM300,000 with unpaid duties of RM65,700.

He added that the case was being investigated under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967.

To a question if the government planned to add on the number of scanners at Sabah ports due to the state being one of the busiest trade destinations in the country, he said they will look at the need from time to time.

"The cost is quite high (as) one scanner costs RM20mil each as opposed to baggage scanners at airports which only cost RM500,000 per unit," he said, adding there were currently three Sabah ports equipped with these expensive scanners presently.

Ahmad also urged the public to help Customs in the fight against smuggling by reporting any suspicious activity to the toll-free number 1-800 88 8855 or the nearest Customs office.

"The department assures that the identities' of informants will be kept confidential," he said.

Ahmad earlier said that the Sabah Customs Department collected over RM1.79bil in tax revenue in 2022.

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