KOTA BHARU: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department seized contraband cigarettes worth over RM500,000 including tax after raiding a van parked in a village lane here on Wednesday July 13.
State Customs Director Mohd Nasir Deraman said the seizure was made after he conducted “Ops Benteng” intelligence on a Toyota Hiace pickup truck, suspected of being used as a contraband cigarette storage area.
“At approximately 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, team members conducted the raid and found 82 boxes containing 671,000 sticks of contraband cigarettes of various brands stored in the van.
“All the cigarettes found were valued at RM98,650 with a tax value of RM452,725,” he told a press conference at the Padang Bongor Customs Office here on Sunday July 17.
He said it was discovered that the cigarette smuggling syndicate had deliberately used the vehicle as a storage place for contraband cigarettes to avoid detection by authorities before being distributed to local customers.
According to him, the case would be investigated under section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 and in the first six months of this year a total of 183 seizures of cigarettes smuggling were recorded.
“A total of 11 million cartons of cigarettes were seized with a value of RM1.5 million and a tax of RM7.4 million.
“Twenty-two people have also been arrested and charged in court in connection with such activities,” he said.- Bernama