SEREMBAN, Nov 8 -- The Customs Department today destroyed a whopping 1.9 million litres of hard liquor of various brands and 10.3 million cigarettes worth RM12.4 million, smuggled into the country.
Director-general Datuk Seri Paddy Abd Halim said the contraband goods were seized in two separate operations in Port Klang, Selangor, conducted in April and yesterday respectively, and involving unpaid taxes of RM61.9 million.
The hard liquor was confiscated in April, with nine local people remanded to assist investigations.
The modus operandi employed by the smugglers was to store their goods temporarily in the warehouses of several companies with import licences, he said, explaining that the liquor was found in a total of 113 containers.
Speaking to reporters during the disposal of the goods at the Mambau landfill near here, Paddy said no one had come forward to claim ownership.
In the second operation conducted in Port Klang yesterday, customs foiled a cross-border smuggling attempt with the confiscation of a container containing two brands of cigarettes.
“A check of the Customs Form 1 (Import) showed that the merchandise in the container was declared as women's skirts, clothing and vests, but the actual contents were different," he said, adding that two local men were detained for further investigations.
Both cases are being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 and the Excise Act 1976, with maximum penalties comprising a fine of RM500,000 or a five-year jail term or both.