KUCHING: The Sarawak Royal Malaysians Customs Department (JKDM) had successfully confiscated 405 units of luxury watches on Wednesday.

Its director Datuk Sharifah Halimah Tuanku Taha revealed that the seizure was conducted in a simultaneous raid at two different locations in a renowned shopping mall in Kuching.

A team of Customs officers from Kuching ‘Darat’ Operation branch headquarters and Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers searched the premises and found 405 units with unpaid tax.

“The total cost of the items are RM16,412,153.40, with custom duties amounting to RM820,607.67.

“The goods are then brought to Kuching Enforcement Office for safekeeping and further investigation,” she said in a statement.

It was also revealed that the luxury watches were brought from overseas, for example Hong Kong, to Kuching International Airport (KIA) which transited at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) using a domestic flight to avoid customs inspection.

“The trade was also brought in directly from Singapore to KIA. The luxury watches were hidden in a briefcase and passed through customs checks for non-declaration or by saying nothing to declare.

“The high-end luxury watches were brought in individually by attaching to one’s hand as personal item to confuse customs officials at the checkpoint.

“However, with the frequent entry and exit of the country, the quantity (of watches) brought in increased,” she stated.

The case will be investigated under Section 135 (1)(g) of the Customs Act 1967, (attempting to avoid through fraud and any customs duty) where convicted, the offender shall be fined not more than 10 times the amount of customs duty and not more than 20 times the amount of customs duty or imprisonment not more than three years or both.