Pahang Customs makes largest-ever seizure of illicit smokes

Mohd Asri (centre) and his officers with a portion of the seized contraband. – BERNAMApic

KUANTAN: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department foiled a smuggling attempt in broad daylight when it seized 24,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes with estimated unpaid duty of RM3.2mil.

Pahang Customs director Mohd Asri Seman said the cigarettes – the largest such haul in the state to date – were confiscated from an eight-tonne lorry on the Kuantan-Segamat Highway near Pekan at 2.20pm on Sept 13.

"In an inspection of the lorry travelling south from the East Coast, enforcement officers found 4.8 million cigarettes estimated to be worth RM384,000 with total duty estimated at RM3.206mil.

"The lorry driver, in his 40s, and the vehicle were detained for further investigation under the Customs Act 1967,” he said at Wisma Kastam Sultan Ahmad Shah here on Friday (Sept 29).

Mohd Asri said he believed a cigarette-smuggling syndicate was brazenly using the East Coast Expressway and the Kuantan-Segamat Highway to distribute the contraband in the south.

"We believe their modus operandi is to move at peak times and not at night to (evade) detection,” he said. – Bernama

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