SIBU: Sarawak Marine Police Region 5 based here confiscated more than RM30.14 million worth of contraband items to score the biggest seizure of such items in the state so far this year, state police commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail said today.
He said the successful breakthrough was made on March 12 at Tanjung Kunyit here where six Indonesians including a woman aged between 22 and 39 were arrested in an operation conducted following public tip-offs and intelligence.
“A total of 18 containers with various brands of beers worth RM18,336,883.24 (including tax) and RM3,225,500 (including tax) worth of Canyon brand cigarettes have been seized.
“Also seized were a tugboat worth RM6.4 million, a barge worth RM2 million and 35 containers including those containing the contraband,” he said during a press conference at Sungai Merah police station here.
According to him, the case is now being investigated under Section 135 (d) of the Customs Act 1967 by the Sibu CID.
Aidi said, while implementing ‘Op Kontraban’ a team of marine police in a patrol boat spotted a suspicious barge carrying some containers berthed at a private jetty in the waters of Tanjung Kunyit at about at 12.40 pm.
The team later inspected the barge and found there were 35 containers in it.
After waiting for 10 hours, nobody came forward to claim the barge and the team decided to cut off the padlock of the containers where they subsequently found the contraband items.
“The team apprehended six people who were the crew members of the tugboat and barge,” he said.
Aidi said Sarawak police will continue to enhance their anti-smuggling operations against syndicates who changed their tactics from time to time avoid detection.