JOHOR BAHARU, April 28 – The Johor Customs has seized 221,200 cartons of contraband cigarettes worth about RM23 million after carrying out raids since early April. Johor customs director Datuk Ramli Johari said a 42-year-old, believed to be the agent for the consignments was detained to facilitate investigations.
In the first raid on April 3, a team of enforcement and intelligence officers found contraband cigarettes after inspecting a lorry and two containers a vacant factory lot in Jalan Kempas Lama, Larkin, here. They team found 4.5 million sticks or 22,700 cartons of contraband cigarettes in a lorry, estimated to be worth RM2.7 million, including tax.
Another 16.26 million sticks or 81,300 cartons of contraband cigarettes, worth RM9.6 million including tax, was found in two containers. He said in the first raid 20.8 million sticks or 104,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes worth RM12.3 million was seized. He told this to reporters here Wednesday.
According to Ramli, no arrest was made in the first operation, however the owners of the lorry and containers would be investigated to trace the suspect behind the smuggling attempt. In the second operation on April 13 at about 3pm, a Customs team inspected two containers at the Pasir Gudang Port and found contraband cigarettes inside the containers instead of ‘wooden panel’ and ‘polyethylene resin’ as declared.
“Meanwhile, upon checking further, 9.73 million sticks or 63,200 cartons of clove cigarettes were found in the first container while the second container contained 10.8 million sticks or 54,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes worth RM11.56 million including tax,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Pontian, 2,490 cartons of contraband cigarettes worth RM290,000 including tax, was seized in a raid in the Pontian waters early yesterday. Marine Police Region Two commander, ACP Paul Khiu Khon Chiang said in the 1.15am raid, a boat was spotted in the Kukup waters but two suspects who were in the boat managed to escape. The boat was believed to be from Indonesia and heading to Pantai Rengit, Batu Pahat.