Mancha (left) with his subordinate showing the seized cigarettes.

KUCHING: The General Operations Force (GOF) confiscated 740,200 cigarettes sticks inside 3,805 cartons worth RM561,674 in two separate raids at Jalan Desa Wira, Batu Kawa here yesterday.

Sarawak GOF Brigade commander SAC Mancha Ata said that the raids were carried out by Sarawak GOF Brigade Intelligence Unit along with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Sarawak towards two premises suspected to be the place of sales and storage of suspected smuggled cigarettes.

The first raid took place in a house at Jalan Desa Wira around 8.30am whereby the raid team found 2,886 cartons of white cigarettes and crates with an estimated number of 567,600 cigarette sticks inside.

“All of the cigarettes, believed to be illicit, were seized and are estimated to be valued at RM429,088 including custom duty. A 41-year-old man who is the owner of the items was also arrested.

“Meanwhile, the same team also raided a business premises in the same area at around 12.30pm and they found 919 cartons of white cigarettes and crates with an estimated number of 172,600 cigarette sticks inside.

The seized cigarettes.

“All of the cigarettes, believed to be illicit, were seized and are estimated to be valued at RM132,586 including custom duty. A 52-year-old man who is the owner of the items was arrested,” he said in a statement.

After the raid operations, the figures are rounded to a total of 740,200 contraband sticks of cigarettes inside 3,805 cartons which is worth RM561,674.

Mancha noted that the arrests and seizures were detained under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967 and handed over to the Padawan district police headquarters for further actions.

If convicted, they could be fined RM100,000 or 10 times the value of the duty, or imprisonment of not less than six months or not more than five years or both.

He further said that eradication of cigarette smuggling activities will be carried out from time to time to ensure this activity can be thwarted.

“The GOF have identified the modus operandi of the smuggling activities and subsequent operations will be carried out.

“In this regard, the Sarawak GOF Brigade welcomes the cooperation of the public to provide information on cigarette and liquor smuggling activities throughout Sarawak. They can channel the information through 082-587222,” he said.