Six nabbed for smuggling liquor and beer into Sarawak
LOCATION OF SEIZURE: Mohd Salleh points to the site of the seizure on a map.
KUCHING: The State Marine Operation Force (MOF) seized RM50,000 worth of contraband – 704 bottles containing 750 litres of liquor each and 8,400 cans of beer – believed smuggled into the state.
Six men were arrested in the process, said State MOF chief, ACP Mohd Salleh Mat Jani yesterday.
A team of seven men led by ASP Mohd Sapardi Abd Samad held the raid under ‘Ops Landai’ on receiving public tip-off that a speed boat, powered by four sets of 200 horse-powered engines, was ferrying these contraband on Tuesday (Jan 31).
The seizure was made while the suspects were loading them from the boat into a six-tonne lorry at the river near Bukit Sagaban in Lawas.
“The six men arrested, aged 20 to 38, were locals. Various brands of liquor and beer were confiscated,” Mohd Salleh told a press conference.
The contraband was worth about RM50,000 inclusive of tax, Salleh said. MOF also seized the speed boat, outboard engines and lorry to facilitate investigation.
If all these seized items were to be accounted for, the total sum of the seizure was around RM415,000, he said.
“The six suspects will be investigated under Section 135 (d) of the Customs Act 1967. Prosecution may also be conducted by us (MOF),” he said.
The offence carries a maximum fine that is 10 times the total worth of the contraband or not more than four years in jail.
He said MOF believed these goods came from Labuan by sea. The loading was conducted at night to avoid being seen, and the seizure was the first case of its kind this year.