Two held for questioning over Port Klang smuggling ring, says MACC

KUALA LUMPUR: Two individuals have been remanded for four days to assist in an investigation into smuggling activities at Port Klang uncovered by anti-graft authorities.

The four-day remand until June 8 was granted by the Magistrate's Court on Wednesday (June 5).

In a recent special operation in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, a special task force led by the MACC detained 19 container lorries suspected of carrying various types of smuggled untaxed goods without proper inspections.

According to sources, initial investigations revealed that the syndicate owned more than 10 forwarding companies used to smuggle imported goods by submitting false tax declarations.

"The results of the investigation conducted over three months found that the modus operandi involved using various forwarding companies registered under the names of individuals unaware of the import and export transactions.

"This was done to deceive the authorities and enable syndicate members to evade any actions against them by claiming they had no connection to the said companies," they said.

The syndicate is believed to be led by a foreign individual with their main office located overseas and has been operating for over 10 years.

"It is estimated that this syndicate manages around 3,000 containers per month. The estimated tax evasion for the 10 years of operation amounts to RM3.5bil based on a minimum tax of RM7,000 for each container.

"To avoid taxation, the syndicate made false declarations using Customs Form 9 by declaring non-taxable items such as wheelchairs and medical supplies," they added.

The investigation also revealed that these 'flying containers' would enter the Public Licensed Warehouse of the Northern Port for only 10 to 15 minutes to deceive the authorities, as these containers did not undergo proper customs inspection and were then distributed throughout the country.

Confirming the remand order, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said a thorough investigation would be conducted under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, Anti-Money Laundering Act, Customs Act 1965, and the Inland Revenue Board Act.

"MACC welcomes the co-operation from the Customs director-general and hopes that department heads will take similar steps to curb corruption and losses within their agencies.

"We have identified the individuals involved, including the mastermind believed to be overseas, the company owners, forwarding agents, and customs officers colluding with this syndicate, and we will detain them in the near future.

"We will also seek assistance from foreign agencies to obtain information on the accounts owned by the main mastermind so that appropriate actions can be taken," he said.

A collaboration between the MACC, Customs, and the Inland Revenue Board has successfully uncovered the activities of the largest smuggling syndicate at Port Klang.

It was previously reported that the MACC had successfully dismantled a smuggling and tax evasion syndicate at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal (KLIA) Cargo in Sepang, amounting to RM2bil over the past three years.

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