The Selangor branch of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department crippled attempts by syndicates to smuggle in contraband cigarettes and liquor at three locations in Klang recently. (pix by MUHAMMAD SULAIMAN)

PORT KLANG: The Selangor branch of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department crippled attempts by syndicates to smuggle in contraband cigarettes and liquor at three locations in Klang recently.

The consignments were valued at almost RM500,000 with unpaid taxes amounting to RM2.25 million.

Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy said in the latest case, a team from the Selangor Customs Enforcement Division seized bootleg alcohol, which had been sold online, after they detained a married couple, aged 36 and 26, at an area in Bukit Tinggi, Klang at 9 pm last Monday.

He said checks on the vehicle they were travelling in led to the discovery of a box containing what was believed to be contraband wine, under the brand of Peter Vella Vineyards, and two drums of Heineken beer.

“Subsequently, the Selangor Customs raided a house in Klang, which had been turned into a storage place for alcohol, and found 32 boxes of Peter Vella Vineyards wine, also believed to be unverified by the customs,” he told a press conference here today.

Also present was Selangor Customs director Datuk Sarip Ismail.

Subromaniam said the total seizure was estimated at RM5,020 with unpaid taxes of RM4,032.40.

The couple was being investigated under Section 135 (1)(c) and 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967, he said.

Meanwhile, in another case, Subromaniam said the department seized 500 cartons of beer without customs duty stickers after they stopped a rigid lorry at the exit of the Port Klang Free Trade Zone here, about 9.30 pm on Jan 5.

He said the beer, worth about RM19,800 with unpaid duties amounting to RM83,993.98, were discovered in a secret storage area of the lorry.

“The driver has been detained to facilitate investigation under Section 135 (1)(e) of the Act,” Subromaniam said.

As for the third case, he said the department crippled an attempt to smuggle in 28,000 cartons of bootleg Gudang Garam cigarettes from Indonesia using a container lorry, at the North Port here about 8.30 pm on Dec 17.

The consignment, valued at RM470,400 with unpaid taxes of RM2.2 million, was allegedly being transported out via the North Port Free Trade Zone exit using the service of haulier, Subromaniam said.

“The container lorry driver, who is a permanent resident, and his local co-driver had been detained to facilitate investigations under Section 135 (1)(e) and 135 (1)(g) of the Act,” he added.– BERNAMA

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