Security forces foil attempt to smuggle contraband cigarettes worth RM1.04mil

TAWAU: The Armed Forces Joint Task Force 2 (ATB 2) foiled an attempt to smuggle 8,650 cartons of contraband cigarettes from a neighbouring country worth RM1.038mil under the integrated Ops Benteng patrol at Batu 3 here early Monday (May 30) morning.

ATB2 Commander Brigadier General Abdul Karim Ahmad said the Radar Coastal Surveillance Station (CSS) detected four suspicious speedboats moving from Pulau Sebatik towards Batu 3 at about 3.05am.

He said the Quick Reaction Force that was ordered to check the area came across a suspicious one-tonne lorry at 4am.

“The initial checks on the lorry found 8,560 illicit cigarettes, and the lorry which was used to bring the items from the neighbouring country to Tawau, Sabah, was abandoned after the smugglers realised the presence of security forces,” he said in a statement here today.

Abdul Karim said they believed that the syndicate involved locals and foreigners for the purpose of smuggling cigarettes to be sold in the black market around Tawau.

“We also seized the lorry worth RM40,000 and all confiscated items were handed to Tawau district police headquarters for further action,” he added. – Bernama