Police bust biggest cigarette smuggling syndicate in the country

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ROMPIN (June 19): Police have busted a cigarette smuggling syndicate and seized 279,000 cartons worth RM4.868 million in a raid at Leban Chondong here today. It is believed to be the biggest seizure of smuggled cigarettes in the country this year.

Bukit Aman Marine Operations Force commander SAC Mohd Yusoff Mamat said the cigarettes were seized from three five-tonne white-coloured lorries, which were intercepted by the Marine Assault Team on Jalan Leban Chondong, heading towards Muadzam Shah, at 2am.

He said various brands of cigarettes estimated to be worth RM1.544 million with a tax value of RM3.324 million were seized following surveillance by a Bukit Aman team for two weeks.

“Police also arrested three male suspects, aged between their 20s and 50s, who drove the lorries and the cigarettes were believed to be smuggled into this country using a new modus operandi by using a big boat.

“A big boat believed to be from Vietnam docked in Nenasi waters, before several other high-powered fishing boats, belonging to locals, brought the illicit cigarettes to land,” he said in a press conference at Tanjung Gemuk Tactical Base here today.

Mohd Yusoff said several lorries would be waiting on the shore to collect the cigarettes, which were believed to be for direct distribution around Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Pahang up to Kota Bharu, Kelantan.