The Customs Department (JKDM) foiled an attempt to smuggle 30.1 million sticks of cigarettes worth RM12.04 million and seized three containers in Northport, Port Klang here last Thursday.

Customs Deputy Director-General (Enforcement and Compliance) Datuk Johari Alifiah said the raid was a result of JKDM's Internal Investigation Unit (USD) intelligence for three months.

"From preliminary inspections of the three 40-foot containers, we found contraband cigarettes of various brands including John D-Blend, John JGI and Boss Blend believed to be prohibited goods that had not gone through customs clearance.

"A check on the Customs 1 (import) form shows that the merchandise (cigarettes) in the three containers have been declared as 'Hubble Plate' and 'Mechanical Stent' and are different from the physical contents of the merchandise found," he told a media conference today.

"He said the contraband, worth RM21.07 million in duties and taxes, were believed to have been smuggled into the country from China.

"Following the raid, the department arrested three men, including a customs agent, for allegedly smuggling in the merchandise.

"The syndicate's modus operandi is to make false declarations in the customs form before the merchandise arrives at the harbour to prevent their activities from being detected by us,” he said.

Johari said the JKDM has identified several other individuals believed to be involved in the case which is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967 and the Excise Act 1976.