Massive cigarette smuggling attempt goes up in smoke

|     Aziz Idris     |

A DARING attempt to smuggle over 1,000 cartons of cigarettes at the Kupang river canal and the waterways of Menunggol was foiled by the Marine Police of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) recently.

According to a police press release, the first incident occurred on February 13 at around 5am when officers of the Marine Police identified a suspicious black wooden boat with several individuals onboard heading toward the waters of the Brunei River from the Kupang river canal.

The suspects onboard the boat, immediately aware of the presence of the authorities, began to dump some plastic packs into Sungai Pengkalan Batang and fled to Limbang, Sarawak.

The floating plastic packs were seized and taken to the Marine Police headquarters for further investigations. A total of 620 cartons of cigarettes of various types were uncovered from the stash.

The second incident occurred on February 18, 2019 at about 10.05am, when Marine Police officers conducted a river blockage in the vicinity of Tanjung Kindana and found four suspicious boats exiting into the Menunggol waterways.

A patrol of the area was immediately conducted, resulting in the discovery of 12 suspicious items left on the riverbank.

All items were confiscated and brought back to the Marine Police headquarters for investigations. Some 570 cartons of cigarettes including 24 bottles and 98 cans of various liquor were uncovered.

The two cases were submitted to the Royal Customs and Excise Department for further action and investigations.

The RBPF urged the public to report or share any information on criminal activities by dialling 993 or visiting the nearest police station.