KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) seized 81,009 kilogrammes of frozen chicken worth more than RM1.11 million believed to have been smuggled in from neighbouring countries at Sepanggar Port here early last month.

Sabah Zone Customs assistant director-general Datuk Mohd Nasir Deraman said, acting on information received by the Sabah Zone JKDM Intelligence Branch, inspections were conducted on three containers arriving from Port Klang, Selangor, on Feb 2 and 8.

“The inspections revealed that the containers were loaded with frozen chicken parts such as breasts and thighs.

“The frozen food was estimated to be valued at RM931,500 with taxes totalling RM186,300,” he told a press conference here today.

He said following that, two individuals who are the owners of the premises to which the items were addressed were detained to assist with the investigation.

Mohd Nasir said the investigation found that all the containers, originating from Thailand, were transported into the country via Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, on Jan 16 using Customs Form No. 8 (in-transit) and were subsequently sent to Port Klang.

“Checks found that the importer had used Customs Form No. 3, which violates Customs Regulations concerning the transfer of goods under ‘in-transit’ status. The containers were found to be in ‘in-transit’ status within the Port Klang Free Zone,” he said.

Mohd Nasir said that as per regulations, the items should have been declared with Customs Form No. 1 upon leaving the Free Zone area and heading to Port Klang, with Customs Form No. 3 then used for transit from Port Klang to ports within the state.

“It is found that upon leaving the Free Zone, the items were not declared using the K1 Customs Form, but instead, the company and its agents used Customs Form No. 3, suggesting that they may be attempting to evade taxes by not using the Customs Form No. 1,” he said.

Mohd Nasir said the case was being investigated under Section 135 (1)(9) of the Customs Act 1967, and he urged those with information about the case to come forward to assist in the investigation. -Bernama

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