JOHOR BAHRU: Johor customs officers have seized 2.91 million sticks of kretek and white cigarettes, estimated to be worth RM3.9 million, inclusive of duty and taxes, in two operations on Sept 6 and 12.
Customs deputy director-general (enforcement and compliance) Sazali Mohamad said the first seizure was made by customs officers after an inspection of a lorry at the Sultan Iskandar Building here.
He said 830,000 sticks of white cigarettes worth RM166,000, with import duty and sales tax amounting to RM564,400, were found in the lorry, driven by a 39-year-old local man.
“The modus operandi is to not declare the cigarettes, with the intention of smuggling it through commercial lorries into Singapore,” Sazali said during a press conference at the Menara Kastam here today.
The second seizure on Sept 12 was made by the Muar customs enforcement division at three residences around Jerantut, Pahang, and Marang, Terengganu.
Sazali said it involved 2.08 million sticks of kretek and white cigarettes worth RM625,000, with import duty and sales tax of RM2.58 million, suspected to be smuggled from Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
“They were using residential premises to store the cigarettes to avoid detection. We are tracking the owners,” he said.