RM320,000 smuggling bid foiled

Contraband cargo: One of the boats tied to a mangrove tree.Contraband cargo: One of the boats tied to a mangrove tree.

KOTA KINABALU: The marine police thwarted an attempt to smuggle in about RM320,000 worth of cosmetic items in Sabah’s east coast Semporna district.

During a patrol off Kampung Kuala Bilang at 8.30pm on Tuesday, two speedboats carrying the items were spotted.

As the marine police approached, the boats fled, with individuals on board seen throwing items into the sea.

“After pursuing the boats for about 20 minutes, our men saw the people on board throwing things into the sea,” Sabah Region Four Marine Police Commander Asst Comm Ahmad Ariffin said yesterday.

He added that the boats escaped into darkness.

“We recovered 10 large boxes that were discarded, which contained cosmetic products. Our team then scoured a mangrove swamp near the village and found the two boats tied to a mangrove tree.

“A check on the boats led to the discovery of 70 more large boxes containing the same items,” said ACP Ahmad.

He added that the seized items, which was believed to have originated from the Philippines, were estimated to be valued at RM320,540.

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