Smuggling gang evaded RM3.5bil in taxes, says MACC

Enforcement officers conducting checks in a special operation in Port Klang targeting a massive smuggling ring. (SPRM pic)

PETALING JAYA: A special task force comprising three agencies, led by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), has successfully uncovered a huge smuggling and tax evasion gang at Port Klang, involving a loss of RM3.5 billion in taxes over the past 10 years.

Sources revealed that the special task force – which also included the customs department and the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) – identified 10 freight forwarding agents used to smuggle imported goods by making false tax declarations.

“Intelligence conducted for over three months revealed that the gang used various forwarding companies registered under the names of individuals, who were unaware of the import and export transactions.

“This was intended to mislead authorities and allow gang members to evade any action by claiming no connection to the companies,” the source said.

The gang is believed to be masterminded by a foreign national based overseas and has been active for more than 10 years.

“It is estimated that the gang manages around 3,000 containers per month. The loss of tax revenue over 10 years is estimated at RM3.5 billion, based on a minimum tax of RM7,000 per container.

“To avoid taxes, the gang made false declarations using customs Form 9 (for minor bulk break purposes) by declaring non-taxable items such as wheelchairs and medical supplies,” the source added.

The source said intelligence also revealed that the containers would enter the licensed warehouse at Northport for only 10 to 15 minutes to mislead authorities, avoiding customs inspection before being distributed nationwide.

Meanwhile, MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed the special operation, stating that arrests were made, and a four-day remand order was obtained against two individuals suspected of being involved with the gang.

“We have also ascertained the identities of all parties, including the main mastermind believed to be overseas, company owners, forwarding agents, and customs officers collaborating with the gang, and will arrest them soon,” he said.

He said investigations would be conducted under the MACC Act 2009, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Customs Act 1967, and relevant tax laws.

In March, the MACC said it had uncovered a smuggling and tax evasion gang working through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) cargo terminal, which had cost the country an estimated RM2 billion in lost tax revenue over three years.


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