Two detained for intimidating Johor Customs officers

Two detained for intimidating Johor Customs officers

JOHOR BARU - Police have detained at least two men to assist in investigations into the splashing of red paint at the house and vehicles belonging to Johor Customs Department officers.

The two, in their 30s and 40s, were picked up in the city at the end of last month and remanded for a week.

They are being investigated for intimidation and preventing a public servant from carrying out his duties.

Johor Baru OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said the two men were picked up to assist in the investigations but declined to elaborate.

The Star had reported that cigarette and liquor smuggling syndicates were resorting to scare tactics and threats after the department tightened security checks at both the Second Link and the Causeway here.

At least two senior assistant directors from the import and export divisions have reportedly been threatened, including the splashing of red paint at the house and vehicles of one of them.

Some officers claimed to have received death threats.

The syndicates are also said to be using "tontos" to block Customs vehicles from going after lorries carrying liquor and contraband.

Police have also set up a special task force to probe cases involving Customs officers and increased surveillance at the two main entry points from Singapore.

Meanwhile, Johor Customs scored a big success when they prevented nine attempts by syndicates to smuggle in scrap metal, liquor and cigarettes from Singapore via the checkpoints this year.

Its director Datuk Ramli Johari said the latest arrest involved four men, aged between 30 and 50, who were nabbed at around 10.50pm at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar on March 28.

"The men tried to get through our checkpoint with four vans, each carrying between 4,000 and 8,000 undeclared cans of beer."

He added that the confiscated cans were valued at RM52,678.08 (S$20,267.89) and involved unpaid import, sales and excise duty totalling RM135,264.44.

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