Customs thwarts attempt to smuggle RM6m to Singapore in single biggest haul to date

Ben Tan
Johor Customs Department director Datuk Mohammad Hamidan Maryani (2nd left) during the media conference at Menara Kastam Johor in Johor Baru June 26, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, June 26 — Two Malaysian men have been charged with attempting to smuggle RM6.356 million worth of undeclared local and foreign currencies out of Malaysia to Singapore through the Second Link checkpoint in Gelang Patah.

The smuggling attempt is the single biggest amount of smuggled money caught nationwide this year to date.

“This is the biggest haul in undeclared currency seizure this year for Malaysia and Johor,” Johor Customs Department director Datuk Mohammad Hamidan Maryani told a news conference at Menara Kastam Johor here.

He said the cash was found in four boxes inside a Honda Accord car bonnet on June 18, during a border inspection for vehicles leaving Malaysia for Singapore and that the two men in the car, aged 25 and 26, were arrested the following day.

“Customs Department enforcement personnel opened the boxes and found the undeclared currencies in Malaysian ringgit, Singapore dollars and United States dollars,” he said.

The currencies seized amounted to RM6.356 million, with the breakdown as follows: Ringgit (RM6,075,000), S$10,000 (RM30,505) and US$60,000 (RM250,890).

Mohammad Hamidan said two men were charged yesterday after being detained seven days for investigation under Section 28B (1) and Section 86A (1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2001.

Those found guilty can be sentenced to a maximum fine of RM3 million, jail up to five years, or both.

In a separate case, Mohammad Hamidan said the state Customs Department also foiled another attempt to smuggle out RM207,000 from the country on June 14 at the Muar Ferry Passenger Terminal by a 29-year-old Indonesian man.

He said the Customs Department personnel were alerted on the undeclared cash in the man’s luggage entered into a scanner.

“We then detained and later arrested the Indonesian man. He will be remanded until June 28 to assist in investigations.

“We are still investigating the purpose of the suspect transporting the undeclared money and are not ruling out the possibility that a syndicate is involved,” said Mohammad Hamidan.

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