BUTTERWORTH: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department seized over 1.6 tonnes of firecrackers in three separate operations in Penang.
Penang Customs Department director Hamisan Kalip said the stash of firecrackers was seized following a raid of a shop lot on George Town at about 4.30am on Jan 9, adding that the firecrackers were to be sold over the Chinese New Year festival.
“A squad from the department’s marine unit raided the premises and found 463 boxes of firecrackers weighing 1,648.37kg,” said Hamisan.
He added that three men who were offloading the firecrackers were arrested to help the investigation, saying that they were aged between 30 to 42.
Hamisan said at a press conference at the department’s enforcement store in Bagan Jermal on Wednesday that the firecrackers are estimated to be worth RM87,010 and evaded duties amounting to RM56,556.50.
“The firecrackers were brought in from Thailand by land and without proper declarations,” he said, adding that case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967 for protecting, storing, concealing and possession of undeclared goods.
If convicted, it provides for a fine of not less than 10 times the value of the goods or RM50,000, whichever is the greater amount and not more than 20 times the value of the goods or RM500,000, whichever is greater, a jail term not exceeding five years, or both.
Hamisan then said that in another raid, 510 electrical stoves worth RM358,500 involving RM114,720 worth of unpaid duties were seized from a container at the North Butterworth Container Terminal at 11am on Jan 10.
“Checks found the container was imported by a local company based in Pasir Mas, Kelantan and the shipment is from China. A 34-year-old female suspect has since been arrested to facilitate investigations and has been released on bail,” he said.
Hamisan added that the company had made a false declaration by stating that the goods being imported were five separate parts of unassembled cooking stoves to be exempt from taxation
Earlier, Hamisan said the department had detained two containers at the same terminal loaded with 129 electrical scooters worth RM283,800 that had unpaid taxes of RM85,140 at about 4.30am on Dec 16 last year.
He said the importer was based in Sungai Petani, Kedah and a 54-year-old man has since been arrested to facilitate investigations and released on bail.