Penang Customs seized 48 tonnes of white cigarettes yesterday worth about RM5 million, including in unpaid tax, during an operation at North Butterworth Container Terminal here.
Its deputy director, R. Mariappa, said acting on a public tip-off, the Customs officers detained two containers from Vietnam laden with the cigarettes bearing the brand Zon King at the terminal at 5.45pm.
“The containers were declared as containing 48 tonnes of talcum powder,” he said.
He said initial investigation found that the cigarette packets did not have the health warning stamp, security ink and graphic warning recommended by the Health Ministry of Malaysia.
However, he said the packets had the “Malaysian Government Warning” printed on them.
Mariappa said the investigation also revealed that the importer was a one-week-old company registered in Subang Jaya, Selangor. He said efforts were being mounted to track down the suspect, in his 30s, tofacilitate in the investigation under Section 135(1)(g) of the Customs Act 1967.