Bid to smuggle RM1.5mil worth of bootleg beer fails

KOTA KINABALU: Customs personnel foiled an attempt to smuggle in three containers laden with contraband beer worth over RM1.5mil at Sepanggar Port near here.

It was believed the smugglers tried to deceive the authorities by declaring that the containers included items such as tissue paper.

Enforcement officers became suspicious after scanning the containers in the 10.50am operation on July 29.

Sabah Customs assistant director-general Julaiman Soimin said it turned out that the containers stored 9,000 crates of contraband, which was valued at almost RM1.56mil.

The beers were valued at RM658,000 and unpaid taxes came up to RM910,000, he added.

“No arrests have been made so far,” he told reporters yesterday.

He added that the case was being investigated under Section 135 of the Customs Act 1967.

Julaiman urged the public to help the authorities weed out smuggling activities, particularly those involving contraband cigarettes, alcohol, fireworks, and drugs, among others.

He urged the public to report any suspicious activity by calling the toll-free Customs Department line at 1-800-88-8855 or by visiting the nearest Customs office.