The Customs Department (JKDM) seized a total of 1.86 million cigarettes worth RM1.45 million including tax in a raid at Taman Wira Perdana in Gua Musang, last Sept 17.

Kelantan Customs Acting Director Koh Joo Khai said the 4 pm raid was carried out as a result of information and intelligence from the Operation Team of the Kota Bharu Enforcement Division through Ops Mekong Dragon V and Ops Irene V.

"Based on that information, we raided and detained a Nissan lorry that was left on the side of the road.

"We found a total of 1,860,000 contraband cigarettes in the vehicle which is estimated to be worth RM204,600 with an estimated tax of RM1,248,060," he told reporters in a press conference at JKDM here today.

He added that JKDM believed the seized contraband cigarettes were on their way to markets around the Klang Valley.

He said the modus operandi used was to bring in the cigarettes from neighbouring countries using various types of passenger vehicles, lorries or vans to be stored before being distributed in the local market.

"Further investigations are still ongoing to track down the owner of the seized lorry and the case is being investigated under Section 135 (1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967.

"If convicted, a fine of not less than 10 times the value of the goods, or RM100,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months and not more than five years or both for the first offence can be imposed.

Koh also asked the public to continue to help JKDM by channeling information related to smuggling, especially drugs, cigarettes, liquor and firecrackers.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency