Customs seizes truck-load of contraband beer

The contraband beer seized from a cargo truck at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Sibu.

SIBU: Customs officials seized 9,345.60 litres of contraband beer from a cargo truck by the roadside at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman here during an operation recently.

Sarawak Customs director Herman Shah Abdullah said the operation was carried out around 1.30pm by its enforcement unit from Sibu.

“The team stopped a truck for inspection and found the duty-not-paid beers stored inside.

“The value of the seizures was estimated around RM136,000 with unpaid tax and duties estimated at RM139,760.

“The truck with its beer load is believed to be on its way to Kuching to be sold to buyers there. The team also arrested the truck driver, aged 50, to facilitate investigations into the case,” he said.

Herman noted that the goods are reportedly in high demand in Kuching as supplies are declining due to continuous operations by enforcement agencies.

“The demands (for beers) are increasing especially for the upcoming Gawai Dayak festive season,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 135 (1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967 which carries a fine of not less than 10 times the amount of customs duty or RM100,000, and not more than 20 times the value of the customs duty or RM500,000, imprisonment not less than six months and not more than five years or, both.

Herman urged the public to assist the department in the fight against smuggling activities while also advising against engaging in them.

He said smuggling not only harm the country in terms of revenue lost, but also poses a threat to national security and the wellbeing of the people.