Contraband drinks worth RM530k seized

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KUCHING: Custom enforcement officers seized alcoholic beverages worth more than RM530,000 including unpaid duties and taxes from a lorry along Jalan Kuching-Bau last Friday (Jan 8).

State Customs director Herman Shah Abdullah said the raid took place around 12.40pm following an intelligent report and monitoring conducted by the team.

Enforcement officers tailed the lorry until it stopped by a roadside where officers quickly took action to bring the lorry and its driver for inspection at Kuching Customs Enforcement office.

“The team managed to find 17,574.48 litres of alcoholic beverages which are estimated to be worth RM537,605.16 including unpaid duties and taxes.

“The modus operandi is using a 10-tonnes cargo lorry that is tightly covered with canvas to obscure and avoid being detected by the authorities,” he told.

Herman said the driver was arrested for allegedly transporting uncustomed goods.

The case is being investigated under Section 135 (1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967, where if convicted, the offender may be fined not less than 10 times the amount of Customs duty or RM100,000, whichever is greater, and not exceeding 20 times the value of the amount of Customs duty or RM500,000, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not less than six months and not exceeding five years, or both.

He called on the public to assist the department in the fight against smuggling, especially cigarettes, liquor, fireworks and drugs.