Illegal cigarette suspect allowed to have lunch before arrest

Illegal cigarette suspect allowed to have lunch before arrest
A Customs Department officer (right) removing contraband cigarettes found in a sundry shop in Senai with help from a worker at the outlet.

KULAIJAYA - A sundry shop worker was allowed to finish his lunch before Customs officers led him away for selling smuggled cigarettes at his outlet in Senai here.

The 21-year-old Indonesian, who had earlier revealed the 600 packs of illegal cigarettes worth more than RM1,000 (S$388) which were kept under the counter, pleaded with the raiding officers to let him have his meal at the back of the shop before his arrest.

This was the second time that the shop in Jalan Belimbing had been found to sell contraband cigarettes. Repeat offenders face jail time of up to five years, a maximum fine of RM500,000, or both.

The shop was among several outlets nationwide raided by Customs enforcement teams over the past three days for selling smuggled cigarettes.

Altogether, five retailers were detained.

In Penang, an Indonesian woman in her 40s was arrested at a mini market in Simpang Ampat, Nibong Tebal, after 18 packs of illegal cigarettes were found in the premises.

Another retailer was arrested at his shop also in Simpang Ampat, and three cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized.

Two others were picked up from their shops in Gua Musang in Kelantan and Seremban, Negri Sembilan, for similar offences.

The raids were conducted under the Ops Outlet crackdown on retailers selling illegal cigarettes, which the Customs Department launched on March 5.

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