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State Customs chief held in PKFZ smuggling racket

As published in Malay Mail today.

The image of the Malaysian Customs Department has been dealt a severe blow following the arrests of a northern state chief and 11 officers by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on suspicion of large-scale smuggling at the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).

The officers and their 10 accomplices were rounded up yesterday in Taman Megah and Taman Segar in Cheras, Dengkil and Klang in a massive operation that also involved the police, Inland Revenue Board, Bank Negara and CyberSecurity.

The swoop followed a 12-month surveillance on the multi-million ringgit cross-border smuggling of cigarettes and liquor.

The Customs officers are believed to have facilitated the transportation and sale of goods which amounted to hundreds of millions in unpaid taxes.

It is understood the gang moved the goods via land to Thailand and Singapore, raising further questions over our porous borders where cases of people trafficking and firearms being sneaked into the country had occurred recently.

Sources said the cigarette and liquor consignments were brought by sea and placed in a warehouse in Port Klang under the pretext of the being re-shipped to another country, thus being classified as duty free.

A source said: “The rogue Customs officers are believed to have made easy the process of transporting the goods out of the warehouse to their various destinations, including to neighbouring countries without paying any taxes.

“We believe the northern state Customs chief had paved the way for  the goods to be smuggled into Thailand.”

MACC has been monitoring the Customs officers, mostly from Port Klang, the individuals comprising company owners, agents and lorry drivers, for a year.

MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, had in a statement yesterday, said it was the “biggest syndicate” involved in smuggling cigarettes and liquor at PKFZ.
“There were elements of corruption for protecting the smuggling activities and misuse of facilities at PKFZ,” Mohd Shukri said.

He said the raiding party seized cash, documents and goods from the warehouse.

Comments

  1. yet....the big fishes slipped through the net

    E

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