Cops nab lorry driver with contraband cigs worth over RM1.9mil

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KUANTAN (Bernama): The South-East Brigade of the General Operations Force (GOF) has seized contraband white cigarettes and kretek estimated to be worth over RM1.9mil after stopping a lorry at Jalan Muadzam Shah-Bukit Ibam, Rompin here Friday morning (July 2).

Pahang police chief Datuk Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said that the 36-year-old man who drove the lorry was detained by the GOF intelligence branch members at 4.15am.

“The suspect tried to hoodwink the authorities by placing food boxes in front of the large boxes containing the cigarettes in the lorry,” he said.

He was speaking at a media conference at the Pahang police contingent headquarters, which was attended by South-East Brigade commander SAC Hasan Basri Ahmad Safar, and state CID chief SAC Mohd Yusri Othman on Friday.

He said that 1, 604, 000 sticks of kretek and 840, 000 sticks of white cigarettes were seized, and preliminary investigation found that they were brought by sea via Rompin for the Melaka and Kuala Lumpur markets.

“Investigation also found that the number plate of the lorry was fake, and the suspect was remanded under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967,” he said.

In a separate case, he said that another lorry driver was detained at a roadblock in Jalan Jerantut-Temerloh here Thursday (July 1) at 5pm, with 47 sacks containing cigarettes of various brands, believed with unpaid tax, estimated to be worth RM228, 000.

He said that the 40-year-old male suspect had a letter from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) allowing the lorry to be on the road, and preliminary investigation revealed that the cigarettes were believed to be for the east coast states’ markets.

The authenticity of the MITI letter would be investigated, and the suspect was also remanded to facilitate the investigation under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967, he said.

In another development, Ramli also said that through “Ops Sarang” conducted in the Maran district for three days from June 29, the police had detained 102 individuals for various offences involving drugs, with seizures estimated to be worth RM10, 537. – Bernama



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