RM21 million Worth of Unpaid Duties for Smuggled Cigarettes and Beer

4 July 2007

The Customs Department has hit a record of unpaid duties for contraband on a 200-tonne ship in Bintulu, Sarawak on Sunday morning. The ship was under surveillance as it was anchored at a private jetty near Sungai Kemena, Bintulu.

Registered in Mongolia and last called at Singapore, the ship had 31 containers of cigarettes and beer, worth RM4 million for which duties were not paid. The 43,960 cartons of beer and 444,000 cartons of cigarettes would cost duties worth RM21 million.

The 23-year-old Indonesian captain could not produce supporting documents and the goods had labels from the Health Ministry and the Customs Department. 18 crew members aged between 33 and 53 were arrested.

Customs officers also detained the five lorries at the jetty and the drivers.

Offenders face a a fine of up to 20 times the value of the goods, or RM100,000 whichever is higher, or three years jail, or both.

The Star Online – Ship with smuggled cigs and beer seized

New Straits Times – Customs makes biggest seizure yet

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