Johor Customs, MMEA seize RM110,000 of contraband liquor in joint ops

Ben Tan
Johor Customs Department director Mohammad Hamiddan Maryani (left) and Johor MMEA director First Admiral Aminuddin Abdul Rashid (second left) with the seized contraband liquor at Menara Kastam in Johor Baru today. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, Sept 23 — The Johor Customs Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) confiscated 2,172 bottles of contraband liquor worth RM113,820 from a barge in waters off Pengerang.

The foreign registered vessel was detained during a joint operation by the two agencies within Tanjung Penyusop waters in Pengerang at around 2.45pm on September 16.

Johor Customs Department director Mohammad Hamiddan Maryani said the its marine unit and MMEA inspected the barge and found the liquor hidden at the vessel's cargo area.

“The contraband item’s trade value is at RM19,404 and its unpaid tax is RM94,416.

“We also managed to detain 10 Indonesian nationals, aged between 22 and 50, who were crew members,” said Mohammad Hamiddan at a media conference in Menara Kastam here today.

Also present was Johor MMEA director First Admiral Aminuddin Abdul Rashid and other senior officers.

Mohammad Hamiddan said that the case was classified under Section 49(1) of the Customs Act 1967 and Section 135(1)(e) of the same Act.

Aminuddin said MMEA and the Customs Department will continue to work closely together to safeguard the country's maritime border and stop illegal activities such as smuggling of contraband items, illicit drugs and also weapons.

He said such joint-agency cooperations were part of the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS).

In a separate case, Mohammad Hamiddan said the state Customs Department’s enforcement team discovered 1,200 hidden beer cans with a trade value of RM3,000 with unpaid duties worth RM18,496 during an inspection on a Toyota Alphard multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) at Taman Austin here on the same day at 3.30pm.

“The team managed to detain a local 40-year-old male suspect, who has since been charged in the Magistrate’s Court here,” he said.

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