Esscom foils bid to smuggle cigarettes worth over half a million ringgit

The contraband cigarettes seized in an operation by Esscom officers at Beluran yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Security forces yesterday foiled an attempt to smuggle contraband cigarettes valued at over half a million ringgit to the market at Sabah’s Beluran east coast district.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Hazani Ghazali said his men also arrested five local suspects during the sting operation at Sapi Nangoh at 5.45pm.

Based on a tip-off, he said, Esscom officers stopped five vehicles which were heading to Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu.

“The team found 84,500 packets of cigarettes, valued at RM455,000.

“Together with the estimated taxes, the cigarettes are worth over RM650,000.”

Adding that the suspects were between 18 and 46 years of age, he said the cigarettes were believed to have been brought in from Indonesia for sale in the east coast, particularly Sandakan.