1.2 million sticks of contraband fags seized

SARATOK: Customs enforcement officers seized more than 1.2 million sticks of contraband cigarettes from a residential premises at Taman Desa Damai here on Feb 9.

State Customs director Herman Shah Abdullah said the operation was carried out by a team of personnel from the Sarikei Customs enforcement unit around 5.30pm following an intelligent report and monitoring conducted by the state Customs intelligence unit.

The team found a total of 1,272,120 sticks of various duty-not-paid cigarettes kept inside the house.

“The value of the seizures was estimated at RM114,548.40 and estimated tax and duties, RM851,054.04.

“It is believed that an individual used an empty residential premises to store the duty-not-paid items before they are sold to customers around Saratok,” he said.

The case will be investigated under Section 135 (1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 where if convicted, the individual can be fined not less than 10 times the amount of customs duty or RM100,000, according to any greater amount, and not more than 20 times the value of the amount of customs duty or RM500,000, according to any greater amount, or imprisonment not less than six months and not more than five years or both.

The public have been urged to assist the department in the fight against smuggling activities, and also advised against engaging in them.

Herman pointed out that smuggling not only harms the country in terms of revenue lost, but also poses a threat to national security and the wellbeing of the people.