BUTTERWORTH, Jan 18 — The Penang Department of Royal Malaysian Customs thwarted attempts to smuggle sparklers and firecrackers as well as electrical items worth almost RM1 million in a recent series of raids and inspections in the state.
Its director Hamisan Kalib said the sparklers and firecrackers were seized in a 4.30am raid at a business premise in George Town on January 9.
“During the raid, three men were in the midst of unloading boxes from a lorry into the premises. Upon inspection, 463 boxes containing 1,647.37 kilogrammes (kg) of sparklers and firecrackers worth RM87,010 with an unpaid tax of RM56,556.50 were found in the lorry. Initial investigation revealed that the items were brought into the state from Thailand via sea route, believed to be distributed for the Chinese New Year celebration.
“The three men, aged between 30 and 42, were also arrested for further investigation,” he told a press conference here today.
In the second raid on a container from China at the North Butterworth Container Terminal at 11 am on Jan 10, the Customs also seized 510 units of electric hob cookers worth RM473,222 including tax.
Hamisan said the container belonged to a local company based in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, and the 34-year-old female manager of the company had also been detained to facilitate further investigation for false declaration of import consignment.
In a raid at 4.30pm on December 16 last year, he said they also seized 129 units of electric scooters worth RM368,940 including tax from two containers at the same container terminal.
He said the container belonged to a company in Sungai Petani, Kedah, and the scooters were imported from China for the local market.
A 54-year-old man was also detained to assist in further investigation, also for false declaration of import consignment, Hamisan added.