KUALA BESUT: The Terengganu Royal Customs Department of Malaysia (JKDM) busted a syndicate smuggling cigarettes worth RM682,550 through a raid here on Monday (June 10).

Its director, Mohd Nadzri Ariffin said the raid was conducted by a team of enforcers via an inspection on a lorry at 7 am.

“Acting on intelligence from the East Intelligence Zone and Customs Field Operations Combat Team (Cobra), our team conducted a raid at a location next to the Kuala Besut State Assemblyman Service Centre building and detected a lorry, minus the driver.

“Upon further inspection, we found that the lorry was laden with boxes of cigarettes, which are suspected to be prohibited import goods, that were left there,” he said in a statement today.

Mohd Nadzri said they confiscated 850,000 sticks of cigarettes, with an estimated value of RM110,500 and RM572,050 in taxes.

He added that the syndicate’s modus operandi involved using bonded or closed-type lorries to distribute the smuggled cigarettes to markets outside Terengganu.

“The lorry was confiscated and taken to the Kemaman Customs Office branch enforcement station,” he said, adding that the case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967.

Mohd Nazri urged the public to channel information on any smuggling-related activities by contacting the JKDM toll-free number 1-800-88-8855.