KUCHING: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) has thwarted an attempt to smuggle illegal fireworks from Sibu to Kuching.
A total of 1.116 tons of fireworks in 30 boxes and 720 cartons of various brands were confiscated from a lorry in an operation recently.
The ‘OPS Sinar’ operation, which was from October 1 until 30 in the run-up to the coming Deepavali festival, netted RM34,980 worth of contraband with custom tax estimated at RM22,737.
The lorry driver and attendant were brought to the district Customs enforcement office for further questioning.
State Customs director Datuk Sharifah Halimah Tuanku Taha revealed that the department acted on a tip which led them to stop a lorry from Sibu at Jalan Kuching-Sri Aman at 4.30am.
“We found boxes which were curiously placed under food boxes and barrels of engine oil,” she said in a statement dated October 17. The boxes contained fireworks believed have been smuggled into the state,” she said.
Sharifah revealed that the smugglers used trucks from Sibu to distribute illegal goods across Kuching.
“The illegal goods were packaged together with other boxes and hidden among other items to deceive the authorities,” she said.
She said that the case was being investigated under Section 135(1)(a) and Section 135(1)(b) of the Customs Act 1967. If found guilty, the offender is subject to a fine of not less than 10 times the amount of Customs duty or RM100,000, whichever is larger and no more than 20 times the amount of unpaid Customs duty or RM500,000, whichever is larger, or jailed for a period of not less than six months and not more than five years or both.
“We urge the public to give us information throught our toll-free hotline at 1-800-88-8855, our website at http://aduan.customs.gov.my or any Customs office in every state. All identities of informations will be kept confidential,” she said.