Sabah Customs seizes beer worth RM2.7mil in latest false declaration case

KOTA KINABALU – Customs officers in Sabah have discovered another instance of goods being falsely declared by smugglers in order to avoid tax.

On May 10, Sabah Customs seized six beer containers worth RM2.7mil, including unpaid tax, which were brought through Sepanggar Port near here.

The consignment was seized after it was discovered that the goods had been declared falsely as electrical appliances, clothing, hardware and other items.

This was just the latest attempt by smuggling ring to fool authorities through fraudulent declarations of goods in the same port.

The May 7 discovery of RM2.75mil of chicken meat, which was falsely declared to be potatoes and green peas.

On April 24, another attempt was foiled when containers transporting RM1.5mil worth of illicit beer were declared to contain smartphone accessories, household goods and excavator parts.

Datuk Mohd Nasir Deraman, assistant director general of State Customs, said that the operation on May 10 involved personnel from Kota Kinabalu Enforcement Operation Unit.

He said that the team, acting on a tip, checked 20 containers in Sepanggar port, at 9am.

He told a Sepanggar press conference on Wednesday (12 June) that “our men found six of those bottles contained contraband beer”.

The alcoholic beverages were valued at RM484,788 and the unpaid duties came to RM2,264.476.40.

He added that the total value of all items was RM 2,749,264.40.

Mohd. Nasir stated that investigations are being conducted under Sections 52 & 135(1)(d).

He encouraged the public to assist the authorities in curbing smuggling by calling the Customs Hotline toll-free at 1-800-888855.

Tan Sri Azam Baki, the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said that the agency is actively monitoring all ports in the country to prevent leakages caused by false declarations of goods to avoid taxes.

He said that corruption and abuses of power are often the cause of such actions, and the MACC will work closely with Customs to address this problem.

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