Rice smuggling operation in Miri busted

Tan (fourth from left) with his men inside the warehouse.

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By Brad Rantayy

MIRI, Dec 3: Miri General Operations Force (GOF) busted a rice smuggling operation here on Saturday (Dec 1) with the seizure of 5,856 sacks of rice weighing 298 tonnes.

The smuggled rice, reportedly from Vietnam and Thailand, is estimated to be worth RM623,880.

Commanding Officer of the 12th GOF Miri, Supt Tan Hiap Seng, told a press conference today that the illegal operation had been going on for the past five years.

“Prior to the discovery, our officials from the intelligence unit raided two warehouses in Jalan Primula in Piasau Industrial Area on Dec 1 at 8am. They found a total of six containers — all filled with smuggled rice,” he said.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the smuggled goods, which is the largest haul by GOF Miri this year, were brought in via sea routes.

In addition, the warehouses did not have licences to carry out rice trading and rice storage.

During the raid, Tan said a 30-year-old man, believed to be the caretaker of the two warehouses, was arrested, and the case is being investigated under Section 9(2)(a) of the Control of Paddy and Rice Act 1994.

“We found out that every month, about 100 tonnes of rice were smuggled into Miri by the warehouses’ owner,” said Tan.

Once the smuggled rice arrived here, they would be brought to the warehouses and re-packaged with local rice brand packaging.

“At least five types of local packaging were found inside the warehouse during the raid,” Tan said. — DayakDaily