Six retailers in Malaysia held over smuggled cigs

Six retailers in Malaysia held over smuggled cigs
Spot check: A customs officer searching for smuggled cigarettes during a raid on a shop in Kota Baru.

KUALA LUMPUR - Customs officers seized a car and arrested six retailers, including a woman, during raids conducted over the past two days on outlets nationwide suspected of selling smuggled cigarettes.

The car was seized from a mini market operator in Kangar after the officers found three cartons of illegal cigarettes in the vehicle. The operator was arrested.

The officers also arrested another retailer at a separate outlet in Kangar for the same offence.

In Negri Sembilan, a female shopkeeper was arrested and two cartons of illegal cigarettes were seized from an outlet in Nilai. The other three retailers were picked up from their shops in Kota Baru and the mainland in Penang for selling illegal John and Gudang Garam cigarettes.

About 1,000 retailers have been arrested, and half of those arrested taken to court, since the Customs Department launched its Ops Outlet nationwide crackdown on smuggled cigarettes on March 5.

Recently in Perlis, a man was jailed one year after he failed to pay a RM100,000 (S$38,913) fine set by the magistrate's court for possessing 126,000 sticks of smuggled cigarettes.

In Kota Baru, a worker was jailed eight days and fined RM13,080 for possessing 100 cartons of illegal cigarettes worth RM1,308 at his shop in front of Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah.

In Temerloh, Pahang, a man and his wife were fined RM13,000 and jailed two days by the magistrate's court after they pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing 734 packs of illegal cigarettes worth RM1,211.20 at a mini market in Felda Jenderak last year.

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