Contraband cigarettes with unpaid duties seized

Photo used for illustration purposes only

PUTRAJAYA – The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has foiled an attempt to smuggle in 6.46 million sticks of white cigarettes worth more than RM500,000, with unpaid duties of RM4.3 million, at the North Port of Port Klang.

Customs deputy director-general (Enforcement and Compliance) Datuk Johari Alifiah said they seized the contraband cigarettes from a container on Thursday.

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“Preliminary investigations show that the container was handled by a shipping company with a branch in Port Klang, Selangor, and documents obtained show that the goods are believed to have originated from a country in East Asia,” he said in a statement today.

Johari said the syndicate which brought in the cigarettes had declared the goods as 22 cartons of Message Box Cabinet.

The uncustomed goods were packed in 22 wooden boxes measuring 2.30 metres long, 1.04 metres wide and 1.32 metres tall each, he added.

“Parts of the 22 wooden boxes were filled with plastic rubbish bins to make the consignment more compact and to avoid raising suspicion that they contained white cigarettes,” he said.

He said some of the cigarette master cases were wrapped in green and white plastic sacks and others were packed in other boxes.

“Smuggling is not only a loss of revenue to the country but also a threat to the country’s security and people’s well-being,” he said.

Johari urged anyone with information on smuggling activities to call the customs toll-free line at 1-800-88- 8855 or the nearest customs office.

— BERNAMA