MACC: Two people held to be questioned over Port Klang smuggling rings

KUALA LUMPUR – Two people have been remanded in custody for four days as part of an investigation by the anti-graft authority into smuggling at Port Klang.

On Wednesday, June 5, the Magistrate’s Court granted a four-day remand to the 8th of June.

A special task force, led by the MACC, detained 19 container trucks in a recent operation in Selangor & Kuala Lumpur. The vehicles were suspected to be carrying smuggled goods that had not been properly inspected.

Initial investigations, according to sources revealed that the syndicate controlled more than ten forwarding companies which were used to smuggle goods imported by filing false tax declarations.

The results of an investigation that lasted three months revealed the use of various forwarding firms registered under names of people who were unaware of import and export transactions.

They said that the purpose of the deception was to allow the syndicate members to avoid any legal action against them, by claiming to have no connection with the companies.

The syndicate, which has operated for more than 10 years, is thought to be headed by an individual from abroad. Their main office is located in another country.

This syndicate is thought to manage around 3,000 containers a month. Estimated tax evasion over the last 10 years amounts to RM3.5bil based upon a minimum tax rate of RM7,000 per container.

The report said that the syndicate used Customs Form 9 to make false declarations by declaring items which were not taxed, such as wheelchairs or medical supplies.

Investigations also revealed that the ‘flying container’ was only allowed to enter the Public Licensed Warehouse at the Northern Port for 10 to 15 seconds to fool the authorities. These containers had not been properly inspected by customs and were distributed across the country.

Tan Sri Azam Baki, Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, confirmed the remand. He said that a thorough investigation will be conducted in accordance with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. This Act also includes the Anti-Money Laundering Act and Customs Act 1965.

“MACC is pleased with the cooperation of the Customs Director-General and hopes that other department heads will also take similar measures to reduce corruption and losses in their agencies.

We have identified those involved in this syndicate including the mastermind, who is believed to be abroad, as well as the company owners, agents and customs officers that are colluding. They will all be detained soon.

He said: “We will seek the assistance of foreign agencies in order to get information about the accounts that the mastermind owns so that we can take appropriate action.”

The MACC, Customs and the Inland Revenue Board have successfully discovered the activities of Port Klang’s largest smuggling ring.

The MACC has successfully dismantled a smuggling syndicate and a tax evasion ring at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal Cargo (KLIA), in Sepang. This syndicate had accumulated RM2bil of smuggling over the last three years.

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