KUANTAN: In a daylight operation, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department successfully thwarted a smuggling attempt, seizing 24,000 cartons of illegal cigarettes with an estimated unpaid duty of RM3.2 million.
The director of Pahang Customs, Mohd Asri Seman, revealed that this haul, the largest ever in the state, was intercepted from an eight-tonne lorry on the Kuantan-Segamat Highway near Pekan at 2:20 pm on September 13th.
“While inspecting the lorry heading south from the East Coast, enforcement officers discovered 4.8 million cigarettes, valued at approximately RM384,000, with a total estimated duty of RM3.206 million,” he stated during a press conference at Wisma Kastam Sultan Ahmad Shah on September 29th.
The lorry driver, who is in his 40s, along with the vehicle, has been detained for further investigation under the Customs Act 1967.
Mohd Asri expressed his belief that a cigarette-smuggling syndicate was daringly exploiting the East Coast Expressway and the Kuantan-Segamat Highway for distributing contraband cigarettes in the southern regions.
“We suspect their modus operandi involves operating during peak hours and avoiding nighttime transportation to avoid detection,” he concluded.
Source: The Star