Customs seizes RM2.7mil worth of contraband beer

Mohd Nasir (centre) at the press conference on June 12.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Customs officers have foiled another smuggling attempt by a syndicate which falsely declared goods for the purpose of evading taxes.

Sabah Customs seized six containers worth some RM2.7mil in beer, including unpaid taxes, that came through the Sepanggar port near here on May 10.

This was after they established that the consignments were falsely declared as furniture, apparel, electrical appliances and hardware items, among others.

This case is the latest in a string of attempts by smuggling rings to hoodwink the authorities with fraudulent declarations of goods at the same port in the last few weeks.

A previous case took place on May 7 when RM2.75mil of chicken meat was declared as potatoes and green peas.

Another occurred on April 24 when containers transporting RM1.5mil in beer were declared as smartphone accessories, household items and spare parts for excavators instead.

State Customs assistant director-general Datuk Mohd Nasir Deraman said the May 10 sting involved personnel from the Kota Kinabalu enforcement operations unit.

Acting on a tip-off, he said the team checked 20 containers that arrived at the Sepanggar port at 9am.

“Our men then discovered that six of them contained contraband beer,” he said in a press conference at Wisma Penguatkuasaan Sepanggar near here yesterday.

The value of alcohol, according to him, was RM484,788, and the unpaid duty was RM2,264,476.40.

“Altogether, the items were worth RM2,749,264.40,” he added.

Mohd Nasir urged the public to cooperate with the authorities to curb smuggling activities by providing information to the toll-free Customs hotline at 1-800-88-8855.

During his visit to Sabah on Monday, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said the agency was actively monitoring all ports across the country to combat leakages resulting from false declarations of goods for tax evasion.

He noted that such activities often occur due to corruption and abuse of power, and the MACC is collaborating closely with the Customs Department to address this issue.

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