Xmas damper for liquor smugglers
A syndicate was caught smuggling in $411,200 worth of liquor and beer. -The Daily Chilli
By M. SIVANANTHA SHARMA
It's Christmas time and everyone's in the mood to spice up their life a bit and be merry.
With this in mind, a syndicate attempted to make a quick kill by smuggling in RM1 million($411,200) worth of liquor and beer to take advantage of the high demand during the festive season.
But quick action by the Customs Department ensured that the smugglers, who declared their drinks as "tumeric fineger," would not experience the season's revelry with their ill-gotten takings.
The alcoholic drinks were seized before they could be removed from two containers at the North Butterworth Container Terminal at about 7.30pm on Monday.
State Customs director Datuk Matrang Suhaili said 1,100 crates of beer and liquor worth about RM1.04mil with unpaid duties amounting to about RM1,3mil were seized.
"The syndicate had used the address of a spice importer in Gombak in the declaration form without the knowledge of the company," he told a press conference in Prai near here yesterday.
Among the liquor brands seized were Johnie Walker Blue Label, Bacardi Limon, Hennessy XO, Hennessy VSOP, Premier Liquor and Billyrock Station.
Matrang said a shipping and forwarding agent in his 40s has been detained to facilitate investigations.
He said the case is being investigated under Section 135(1) (a) of the Customs Act 1967 (Revised 1980) which provides for a fine of not less than 10 times the value of the seized items to not more than 20 times the value, or three years' imprisonment, or both.
Matrang said that the import of such items was prohibited unless the importer obtained a licence from the department director-general.
Picture by MUSTAFA AHMAD
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