Sibu customs seizes contraband liquor on its way to Kuching

A container loaded with contraband liquor.

SIBU, May 23: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Sibu seized contraband liquor worth RM708,742.41 including tax, and arrested three persons.

State department chief Datuk Sharifah Halimah Tuanku Taha believed that the contraband would be used during the forthcoming Gawai celebration.

She said at about 8.15am on May 22, based on a public tip-off, its Sibu enforcement team with assistance from its Sarikei counterpart trailed a lorry trailer which was carrying two containers with goods which was believed to have not been approved by the department.

The lorry was then heading to Kuching.

The modus operandi of the suspect, she revealed was to used land transport to send large quantities of the item which posed as ordinary goods so as to avoid detection by the authority.

“The trailer was successfully detained at a place between Sarikei and Saratok. An inspection on the containers by the team found that they were fully loaded with liquor which had not been approved by the department,” she added.

Further investigation, she said revealed that there were 26,409.60 litres of hard drink worth RM274,042.20 and RM434,699.41 of unpaid tax.

The items, she said were later brought to its Sibu department for investigation under Section 135 (1)(d) of the Custom Act 1967.

The case is being investigated under Section 135 of Customs Act 1967, and if found guilty, the offender could be fined 10 times the value of the goods seized or a RM100,000 fine, whichever is the higher, or a jail term not less than six months and not more than five years or both.

“Three persons comprising of the lorry driver and his two attendants were also arrested on the spot,” she revealed.

The lorry costing about RM150,000 was also seized.

She called on members of the public to cooperate by providing information on any smuggling activity in the state.

The public can call its toll-free number at 1-800-88-8855 or through its website or any of its office in the state.—DayakDaily