DENGKIL – More than 114 million sticks of cigarettes, for which about RM58.1 million in tax was not paid, have been seized in the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur during the first eight months of this year.
Kuala Lumpur Customs Director Datuk Mohd Isa Endot said the cigarettes were believed smuggled by sea into the country from Vietnam, China and Indonesia.
“The thousands of containers which enter and leave the ports everyday made it impossible for Custom officers to check all of them,” he told a media conference at the Customs headquarters (enforcement and seizure division) here today.
On the seizures made, he said, the cigarettes, valued at RM6.96 million, were seized in 528 raids, including the ‘Operasi Outlet’, conducted during the period.
He said there were arrests in 76 of the cases with 58 people having been charged.
Based on statistics, he said the Customs Department lost almost RM40 million in revenue through cigarette smuggling activities over the past three years with seizures of 22 million cigarette sticks in 2011, 36 million cigarette sticks in 2012 and 42 million sticks last year in Kuala Lumpur alone.
In a related development, Mohd Isa said the 46 million sticks of cigarettes, weighing 69,472kg, would be destroyed through the shredding approach. – BERNAMA