PASIR MAS: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) has seized smuggled cigarettes worth RM2.1 million inclusive of unpaid tax from a lorry at the Pantai Senok coastal area in Bachok.

Kelantan JKDM director Wan Jamal Abdul Salam Wan Long said the raid at 11 pm on Tuesday was conducted following a two-week surveillance by its Rantau Panjang enforcement branch.

“The cigarettes had just been loaded onto the 10-tonne lorry when the customs team pounced.

“An inspection found 2,090,000 sticks of cigarettes inside the lorry. The cigarettes are valued at RM731,500 in the local market while unpaid tax was RM1.4 million,“ he told a press conference here today.

He said the lorry driver had fled when customs officers raided the place.

“We are trying to trace the lorry owner and goods consignee. We believe the cigarettes were for the market in Kelantan.

“The modus operandi of the syndicate was to smuggle in goods via coastal routes and load them onto lorries for distribution in the state,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967, which provides for a fine of not less than 10 times the value of the goods or RM100,000, whichever is higher, on conviction.

He appealed to the public for information on smuggling activities, including on cigarettes, alcoholic drinks, firecrackers and drugs. - Bernama