KLANG: The Customs Department successfully foiled attempts to smuggle contraband cigarettes and busted an illegal liquor processing syndicate in two raids in Balakong and Cheras on March 29 and April 1.

Customs Central Zone assistant director-general Norlela Ismail said in the first case, the department conducted an inspection on a collapsible flatrack container placed on the roadside in Balakong on March 19 and discovered 1,320,000 sticks of cigarettes hidden beneath its floor.

She revealed that the modus operandi was to hide the cigarettes within the gap of the wooden floor, which was covered with plywood and iron plates to avoid detection by the authorities.

The cigarettes worth RM987,360 and the container were seized for further action and the case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967.

In the second case, Norlela said the Enforcement Division raided a premises in Batu 9 Cheras and uncovered liquor processing activities.

Upon closer inspection, authorities found empty bottles and packaging boxes of alcoholic beverages from various brands with tax labels believed counterfeit, while the premises lacked licensing under the Excise Act 1976.

“A total of 1,753 litres of alcoholic beverages with an estimated value of RM165,000 were seized. Two local men aged 54 and 64 were also detained to assist in the investigation,” she said.

Norlela said the syndicate was operating behind the premises of a recycling and welding company, and the department believed the alcoholic beverages were intended for the local market.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 and Section 3(1) of the Law Reform (Eradication of Illicit Samsu) Act 1976. -Bernama

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