Port Klang smuggling investigation: 17 officers detained, millions of dollars seized

PUTRAJAYA – Officers of the Customs Department were among 17 people detained in a probe into corruption, which is believed to be responsible for leakages amounting to RM3.5 billion at Port Klang.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has seized cash valued at RM4.4mil that was believed to be obtained by corrupt Customs officers.

Eleven of the 17 people detained are Customs officers. Six other suspects include company directors, staff and a runner.

Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed that a Toyota Alphard worth more than RM200,000 was seized, as well as a BMW, jewellery, luxury timepieces, a plot of property, and four Yamaha XMAX cars, all of which were believed to have been purchased in cash.

These are the items that MACC investigators were able to seize and detect so far.

The authorities also frozen 12 accounts belonging to companies and individuals, totaling RM2 million.

Source: “Investigators have also begun to track other accounts that are believed to be used by suspected members of this syndicate,” a source said.

The MACC, in collaboration with the Customs Department, inspected all 19 containers that had been confiscated earlier. They found that the syndicate made false statements about the contents of the containers, including that they were wheelchairs, textiles and non-taxable medical equipment.

The same source stated that “when checks were done, it was discovered that the containers contained items such as LED lighting, solar panels and motorcycle accessories, sports rims, and canned processed meat”.

The tax authorities estimated that the tax on goods was in the millions of Ringgit.

Source: “This is one of the MACC’s biggest successes in combating corruption among enforcement officers as well as leakages in government revenues,” said the source.

The arrests were confirmed by MACC Deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya.

He said, “We are actively searching for the mastermind behind this syndicate by cooperating with foreign agencies.”

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