Man fined BND1.473M for helping smuggle cigarettes, escaping from quarantine

A local man was ordered to settle a fine of BND1.473 million for assisting in the delivery of a sizeable amount of smuggled cigarettes by boat and escaping quarantine.

Mohammad Norhakim bin Haji Kamis, 32, would have to serve 37 months’ jail in default of payment of the fine.

Magistrate Mohammad Marzuqi bin Sabtu heard from DPP Siti Khalilah binti Hussin that Marine Police officers who were carrying out an operations and surveillance around Sungai Riong at 6pm on October 18 were acting upon a tip-off about two boats carrying smuggled goods.

The police arrested the defendant who then showed the police where he had hidden the smuggled goods. The police hauled 1,840 cartons of cigarettes.

The case was handed over to the Royal Customs and Excise Department.

During investigations, the defendant said the cigarettes belonged to two other men and that he was only assisting in unloading and carrying the cigarettes from the boat to the mangrove area to hide them.

He was then placed under mandatory self-isolation from October 19 to 27 at the Sports Village, Berakas. The defendant escaped from the quarantine facility on October 20.

He managed to get a ride to Kianggeh and took a boat to his home in Kampong Berambang.

He went to an orchard in his village to meet his girlfriend and was arrested by police there.

The defendant said he escaped quarantine because he was concerned about his family who would have been worried of his whereabouts.