Not to be sniffed at: Customs seizes 17.5 tonnes of snuff tobacco in Klang

KLANG: The Customs Department has seized over 17.5 tonnes of snuff tobacco worth RM14.29mil, including unpaid duties, brought into Malaysia illegally.

Customs Central Zone assistant director-general Norlela Ismail said they detected a suspicious shipping container at North Port in Port Klang on March 18.

"Based on our checks the container was declared as carrying used clothing, but images from our scanners did not tally with that," she told reporters here on Friday (March 29).

She said when the container was checked, they found sacks of snuff tobacco instead.

"In total, we seized 17.5 tonnes of snuff tobacco worth RM3.32mil, with RM10.97mil in unpaid duties.

"Based on our checks, the container's point of origin was a country in South Asia," she said, adding that it is believed the tobacco was meant for the local market.

She said snuff tobacco was commonly used by foreigners.

"This is the largest seizure of snuff tobacco made this year," she said.

Snuff tobacco is a type of smokeless tobacco. It is produced by grinding tobacco leaves into a fine powder and usually sniffed, or inhaled through the nose. Some brands have flavoured scents as well.

Meanwhile, Norlela said Customs personnel also seized 221 rolls of steel coil following a raid on a warehouse at the West Port Free Trade Zone on March 19.

"Based on our checks, the steel coil was actually declared as stainless steel coil when it was brought in.

"Steel coil requires an import permit as it is classified under Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Customs (Prohibition of Imports) Order 2023," she said.

Two men – the warehouse manager and the owner of the items – were also detained.

A third seizure involved 51,228 litres of illicit alcoholic beverages worth nearly RM1.5mil.

"We detected two suspicious containers on March 13 and March 18 at West Port.

"One of the containers was said to contain malt beer and machinery, while the contents of the other were declared as umbrellas," Norlela said.

The containers came from a neighbouring country, she added.

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