KUANTAN, July 8 — Police have detained a lorry driver who was caught with 265 boxes of cigarettes believed to be uncustomed and estimated to be worth around RM2 million at KM193.3 of the East-West Highway near the Gambang rest and recreational area yesterday.   

Pahang police chief Datuk Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said the man, 32, who was driving a red bonded lorry was detained by a team from the Tenggara Brigade of the General Operations Force (GOF) under Op Kontraban at about 7.30 am. 

He said initial investigations found that the man who was acting as a transporter was on his way to Kuala Lumpur from Segamat, Johor. 

“He was found carrying expired operation permission letters and two registration number plates believed to be fake. In fact, the syndicate tried to deceive the enforcement officers by placing empty boxes of various brands of foodstuff and groceries in front of the boxes of cigarettes,” he said today at a press conference at the Pahang contingent police headquarters, which was also attended by the commander of the GOF Tenggara Brigade SAC Hasan Basri Ahmad Safar and Pahang CID chief SAC Mohd Yusri Othman. 

Ramli said further inspections found 254 boxes containing 2,540,000 illicit cigarettes branded John JDB  and 11 crates with 137,500 cigarettes branded John White.

The cigarettes are believed to be from a neighbouring country and were transported by sea to be sold in the local market. 

Besides the lorry, which was worth RM120,000, police also seized a mobile phone, and RM771.40 and S$31 in cash. 

He added that the syndicate was probably connected to the arrest made by the team last Friday in Rompin, where a 36-year-old lorry driver was detained with illicit cigarettes and kretek believed to be uncustomed and worth more than RM1.9 million.     

“Investigations on the syndicate’s connections are ongoing and the case will be investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Custom’s Act 1967,” he said.  


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