Company’s appeal to recover forfeited trailer thrown out

Fadley Faisal

A company’s plea to recover a truck trailer ordered forfeited in the case of the company’s driver who failed to declare alcoholic beverages was dismissed by the High Court yesterday.

Hui Transport Sdn Bhd, represented by defence counsel Haji Mohammad Daud bin Haji Ismail, applied against the Magistrate’s Court order. Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong found that the Magistrate’s Court order was justified.

On August 8, 2009 Tiara Pewira Enterprise hired Hui Transport (a company based in Kuching) to carry 600 bags of Baja Abok from Miri to Keningau through the Sungai Tujoh control post when Customs examiners found 3,432 cartons of beer.

“Goods transport companies are responsible for the use of their vehicles and for protecting themselves against the loss of their vehicles,” said the Chief Justice on reminding that the company knows the risks of hiring their vehicles for conveying goods.

“Hui Transport ought to have taken reasonable steps to ascertain that Tiara was in fact loading wood dust, and nothing else,” added the Chief Justice.

The Chief Justice said the company has no basis to complain due to its own neglect to protect itself and that the gravity of the offence, involving a substantial quantity of beer involving a duty of over BND170,000, justified a forfeiture order aside from the fine imposed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor’adliatul Hidayah binti Haji Mohd Zaidi represented the Public Prosecutor.