Cops bust smuggling syndicate, seize cigarettes worth RM1.6 mil in Johor

Officers from the Marine Police Force showing the cigarettes seized during the raid at the Taman Johor industrial area yesterday. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Police busted a cigarette-smuggling syndicate and seized contraband worth RM1.6 million in a raid at the Taman Johor industrial area here early yesterday morning.

In the 2am raid, a police team comprising an officer and eight personnel caught two men moving black plastic boxes from a van into a lorry.

The men tried to escape but police managed to apprehend one of them while the other escaped.

The commander of the Region Two Marine Police Force, Paul Khiu Khon Chiang, said police found 205 boxes of cigarettes in the van and lorry containing 102,500 packets of cigarettes valued at RM1.6 million.

He said the cigarettes, bearing the “Concept” brand, were of various flavours.

Khiu said the syndicate from a neighbouring country was believed to have been operating since early this year, using land routes to evade the authorities.

“Smuggling syndicates usually use the sea for their activities but now they are using land routes. We believe this is not the first time,” he told reporters at the Region Two Marine Police Force headquarters here today.

A urine test conducted on the 30-year-old Malaysian suspect found that he was positive for methamphetamine.