TWO Malaysian brothers operating two shipping companies are facing 77 charges for having ships enter Brunei waters without clearance and not paying duty for over 35,000 tonnes of stones.
Thirty-eight of the charges are being brought against Abasa Shipping & Trading Sdn Bhd which is registered in Brunei for importing "uncustomed goods" from Lawas, Sarawak on 38 separate occasions between January to November 2013.
Also operated by the brothers, Malaysian registered Ngu Shipping & Trading Sdn Bhd is facing an equal number of charges for abetting the ships entry on all 38 occasions.
The remaining charge stipulated one of the ships, Jinluck Dua, falsely declared a cargo of 908 tonnes of stones as 250 tonnes in February 2013 through its agent Lim Peng Ong, who works for Hafiza Enterprise.
SM Muhammed Faisal PDJLD DSP Hj Kefli also asked the prosecution to look into the welfare of 14 crew members still on the two ships which have been held at the Muara Port for nine months.
According to a press release from the Anti Corruption Bureau which initiated investigations into the case, Malaysian registered Ngu Shipping & Trading Sdn Bhd owns the two ships while Abasa Shipping & Trading was set up in Brunei to receive payment made from the sale of the stones.
The defendants who were released on $40,000 bail or two local sureties each, did not have their plea recorded yesterday as the prosecution gave them a month's time to seek legal counsel.
The case will be mentioned next month on September 4.