Selangor Journal
The Customs Department’s Centra Zone assistant director-general Norlela Ismail (first row, centre) and her subordinates displaying the bonsai plants, cigarettes, liquor, and fans worth RM2.04 million which were seized in raids around Port Klang in May and early June, during the press conference at Port Klang on June 25, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

Customs seize bonsai, cigarettes, liquor, fans worth over RM2 mln

KLANG, June 25 — The Selangor Central Zone II Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) busted a smuggling syndicate of bonsai plants, cigarettes, liquor, and fans worth RM2.04 million through raids around Port Klang in May and earlier this month.

Centra Zone Customs assistant director-general Norlela Ismail said for the seizure of bonsai trees, it is believed the plants had been brought in from a North Asian country after a container was seized at the North Port on May 30.

An inspection of the container found 2,500 bonsai trees with an estimated value of RM200,000 that were suspected of not having an import permit.

“Bonsai trees are a prohibited item whose importation is permitted subject to an import license under Item 29(1), Part I, Third Schedule, Customs (Prohibition on Import) Order 2023.

“The syndicate made false declarations on the trade as ‘ornamental plants’ on the Customs Form to avoid being detected by the authorities which we believe the goods are for distribution in the local market,” she said during a press conference today.

As for the liquor case, Norlela said the department made two raids on the same date in North Port and West Port involving two different importers, where they found 9,691 litres of liquor after confiscating three frozen containers at the port.

The syndicate used the same modus operandi to hide merchandise believed not to have an import permit worth RM167,500 behind boxes containing vegetables to evade the authorities.

She said a local woman, aged around 50, was arrested at the raid location to assist with the investigation.

In the meantime, the department also seized a total of 2,983 units of ‘stand fans’ and ‘air circulation fans’ worth RM133,500 following the detention of two containers on suspicion of being brought in without an approval certificate from the Energy Commission.

Regarding the cigarette case, Norlela said a raid on a container in West Port on June 4 had led to the discovery of 2,058,000 cigarettes with an estimated value and tax amounting to RM1,539,300.

The cigarettes had been declared as ‘Stretch Film’ in the shipping documents to avoid detection by JKDM.

All cases were investigated under the Customs Act 1967 and if convicted could be fined a maximum of RM500,000 or imprisoned for up to five years or both.

— Bernama


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