KUANTAN: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has smashed a smuggling syndicate following the seizure of cigarettes worth more than RM1.5 million, including unpaid duties, near Felda Neram 1, Kemaman in Terengganu.

Customs director-general Datuk Zazuli Johan said the cigarettes were found in a lorry which had pulled up at a petrol station for refuelling at 1.30 pm on May 23.

“An eight-man team from Pahang customs surprised the lorry driver and arrested him,” he told a press conference here today.

“On inspection, they found 2.1 million sticks of white cigarettes of imported U2 brand in 210 boxes. This syndicate used lorries to transport contraband goods during peak hours in an attempt to avoid detection,” he added.

He said the cigarettes, believed to have been smuggled in via sea routes, were meant for distribution in the west coast.

The 36-year-old driver has been remanded for 14 days until June 6 for investigation under the Customs Act 1967.

Zazuli urged anyone with information on smuggling activities to call toll-free line 1-800-88-8855. -Bernama