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KLIA customs foil RM4m cigarette smuggling attempt

SEPANG: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Customs Department seized 40,000 cartons of cigarettes with unpaid duties amounting of RM4 million on June 24.

KLIA Customs director Datuk Chik Omar Chik Lim said in the 5pm operation, a 40-feet container was impounded at West Port in Port Klang which was carrying goods from China.

“The items were declared as 928 cartons of plastic products comprising chopsticks, containers, bottles and wares worth RM109,431.95.

“But upon closer checks, officials found that there were 8,000,000 sticks of illegal cigarettes in 800 packs worth RM400,000,” he said.

Chik Omar said authorities were in the process of tracking down the culprit behind the smuggling attempt.

“We attempted to contact the company but the name and address provided were false,” he said.

The offence was investigated under Section 133(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967, which carries the maximum punish­ment of a RM500,000 fine, or five years jail, or both.

Meanwhile, Customs also thwarted three attempts to smuggle in drugs worth more than RM1.6mil with the arrests of two foreigners, including a Ukraine woman, between May 11 and June 15.

Chik Omar said in the first case, a 35-year-old Indian man was detained at about 6.45am at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) with 6.3kg of methamphetamine worth over RM1.2mil.

The illicit item was stashed in a secret compartment of the suspect’s luggage who had just arrived from Bangalore, India, on May 11.

“The drugs were concealed in 49 scent sticks,” he said.

In the second case, two parcels containing with a combination weight of 840g methamphetamine were confiscated at a courier service centre at the KLIA on May 18.

The parcels, which arrived from Shenzen, China, arrived on May 13 but were not claimed, despite calls being made to two individuals who allegedly lived in Kuala Lumpur.

“Intelligence led us to the seizure of the parcels. We found each of the parcels contained an alloy roller which had white powder, believed to be methamphetamine, stuffed in it.

“The drugs are worth about RM157,700,” he said.

A 27-year-old Ukraine woman was arrested for attempting to smuggle in about 2kg of syabu worth RM392,920 stuffed in containers disguised as whitening facial cream.

The woman had just arrived from Hong Kong on June 15 but was immediately held at the KLIA for acting suspiciously.

Chik Omar said all suspects had been charged in court.

“Our effort to curb illegal smuggling is ongoing,” he said.

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