Three Customs officers nabbed, millions in cash seized over Port Klang smuggling ring probe


PUTRAJAYA: Three Customs Department officers were detained with several millions in cash seized in the ongoing Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) probe into the smuggling activities in Port Klang.

"We have detained several Customs officers and found several millions in cash and other items of value," MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki (pic) told reporters after attending a booking launching ceremony by Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) titled “Sin of Corruption - A Religious Perspective” here on Thursday (June 13).

He said that investigations are ongoing with MACC probing several other individuals.

"If there is a need, there will be further arrests," he added.

Azam said MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahya will be making an announcement of the arrests and seizure later today.

Meanwhile, Azam said that authorities here will be working closely with the Attorney-General's Chamber (AGC) in order to expand its investigations across the Causeway in Singapore.

ALSO READ: MACC to make more arrests over Port Klang smuggling ring

On Friday (June 7), seven individuals, including a company director and three enforcement officers were remanded for three days in connection with smuggling activities uncovered in Port Klang.

The suspects — two women and five men, aged between their 30s and 50s — were detained at various locations around Port Klang on Thursday (June 6) by graft busters in an ongoing operation codenamed "Ops Transit."

It was reported that 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 goods.

It was said that the syndicate owned more than 10 forwarding companies used to smuggle imported goods by submitting false tax declarations.

ALSO READ: Seven, including three enforcement officers, remanded over smuggling in Port Klang

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.

The estimated tax evasion over 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, declaring the goods as non-taxable items such as wheelchairs and medical supplies.

The investigation also revealed that these "flying containers" would enter the Public Licensed Warehouse at North Port for only 10 to 15 minutes to deceive authorities, with the containers not undergoing proper Customs inspection and then being distributed throughout the country.

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