JOHOR BARU - Cops have crippled a daring syndicate openly trying to bring in thousands of cans of beer illegally from Singapore via the Causeway.
Department director Datuk Ramli Johari said that four men between the ages of 30 and 50 were arrested at around 10.50pm on March 28 at the customs checkpoint at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar.
"The men were travelling in four vans and each van had between 4,000 to 8,000 cans of beer that have not been declared," he said during a press conference here
Ramli said that the confiscated cans of beer amounted to about RM52,678.08 (S$20,334.80) and involves unpaid import duty, sales duty and excise duty totalling RM135,264.44.
"The four men are local. They are being questioned to find out where their supplies come from and who are their buyers," he said.
The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(e) of the Customs Act 1967, which carries a fine of up to 20 times the value of the contraband or up to three years' jail, or both.
"In the first three months of the year, we have managed to cripple eight attempts to smuggle in items via the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and the items include scrap metal, alcohol and cigarettes," he said.
Ramli added the department was serious about eradicating such syndicates.
"They are bold and they take big chances because the profits can be handsome," he said.
When asked if the syndicates could be offering bribes to get through undetected, Ramli said that it was not possible.
"Our officers conduct checks and special operations to smash these syndicates. We need the co-operation of the public as well to inform us if they know of such activities," he said.
Ramli added that the department was also taking measures to ensure that illicit cigarettes were not sold openly at grocery shops here.