Frozen chicken worth RM2.75mil seized in Sepanggar port

Mohd Nasir (third from right) and his senior officers showing the seized chicken meat.

KOTA KINABALU: Customs personnel foiled an attempt to smuggle in some RM2.75mil of frozen chicken meat, on which duties were unpaid, at Sepanggar port near here.

The smugglers had attempted to deceive the authorities by declaring the containers holding the goods as carrying potatoes and green peas.

Sabah Customs Department personnel were suspicious and checked the contents of the nine containers following a risk assessment by its container inspection unit and a public tip-off on May 7.

Sabah Customs assistant director-general Datuk Mohd Nasir Deraman said their suspicions were confirmed when they found frozen chicken meat in the containers.

“We found various chicken parts worth RM2.75mil including RM550,000 in unpaid duty,” he told a press conference here on Tuesday (May 28).

He added that the case would be probed under Sections 52 and 135 (1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967.

Mohd Nasir said it was believed the smugglers not only wanted to evade paying taxes but also avoid going through the halal certification process for chicken meat to be allowed into the country.

“Chicken is among the food items that bring a lot of profit so there are people who try to escape paying the taxes.

"Besides that, there are many procedures to go through including for halal certification before they can bring in the goods,” he said.

He urged the public to cooperate with the department in fighting smuggling activities by calling its toll-free line at 1-800-88-8855.

Mohd Nasir gave an assurance that the identities of all informants would be kept confidential.

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