Marine cops seize contraband smokes worth RM1.3mil in Kota Tinggi raid

JOHOR BARU: Police confiscated RM1.3mil worth of cigarettes and kretek of various brands during a raid along the road to Bio Desaru, Kota Tinggi.

Johor police chief Comm M. Kumar said the Southern Region Two marine police conducted the raid at 9pm on Tuesday (May 7).

“During the raid, a man was seen fleeing the scene.

“Inspection near the beach then found a car, loaded with brown boxes (containing) untaxed cigarettes, parked beside a shed,” he told a press conference at marine police headquarters in Tampoi here on Sunday (May 12).

Comm Kumar added that they found 4,810 cartons of clove cigarettes worth RM1,154,000 and 725 cartons of another variety worth RM217,500.

“We also confiscated the vehicle, which is worth around RM20,000,” he said, adding that the total value of the confiscated items was around RM1.3mil.

The suspect who fled was believed to be part of a smuggling ring, active for the last three weeks, that would bring in the contraband through uncharted routes during high tide.

Comm Kumar said police believed that the shed was used for storage and that the syndicate had used it more than once to store smuggled items.

“At the same time, our investigation also revealed that the group has no specific (point of operation) – they can land anywhere along the state's coastline.

“This is why the marine police have a huge responsibility in making sure that our shores are protected from such activities,” he said, adding that the investigation of the smugglers was ongoing.

Comm Kumar said each pack of cigarettes, smuggled in from a neighbouring country, would be sold on the local market for around RM3.

“This success was based on a tip-off, and we hope the public will continue sharing information on suspicious activities in their area,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 for being in possession of illicit cigarettes.

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