JOHOR BARU: The long arm of the law can reach across states, as was seen when the Johor Customs Department foiled attempts to smuggle about RM5mil worth of contraband in a series of raids in Johor and Selangor.

Its director Sazali Mohamad said three raids between June 26 and Aug 2 were conducted around Johor Baru, Pasir Gudang, Iskandar Puteri as well as in Selangor.

“Two of the raids were conducted on the same day at the Tanjung Pelepas Port after checks on two 40ft containers found more than 60,000 cans and bottles of alcohol along with other undeclared goods such as shoes, refrigerator and beds.

“Similarly, in the third raid, we found over 4,000 bottles of alcohol as well as undeclared shoes, speakers and lamps in another container at the same port,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Two raids in Selangor, namely at Klang and Shah Alam, were conducted following a public tip-off.

Apart from alcohol, about RM22,600 worth of illicit cigarettes were seized in a warehouse at the Air Hitam Industrial area in Klang, said Sazali.

Customs also seized another 85,000 bottles of alcohol after searching another building in Jalan Bukit Kemuning, Shah Alam, he added.

He said the sixth raid was at Jalan Cecair in Pasir Gudang where they found 26,162 bottles of alcohol in a warehouse.

“We arrested four local men believed to be involved to help the investigation. We are also on the lookout for several more who are still at large,” he added.

Sazali said a total of RM2.8mil worth of alcohol was seized during the raids while the value of illegal cigarettes amounted to RM22,600.

He said the department also seized 238 bottles of zam zam water, believed to be fake, that had yet to receive approval from the Customs Department, at a shophouse in Senai.

“We found several bottles believed to contain the fake zam zam water along with empty bottles and boxes.

“The owner of the shop was unable to show any invoice or proof of the import of the water when asked to present it,” he said, adding that four men aged between 22 and 44 who were working at the shop were also arrested.

He said three of the suspects were from Bangladesh and the other from Yemen.

In another case, he said the department also seized seven untaxed high-powered motorcycles believed to have been smuggled in from a neighbouring country.

He added that a 36-year-old Vietnamese woman was also arrested while the seized items were worth about RM876,000.

The cases are being investigated under the Customs Act 1967.