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Smuggler’s appeal for more time to settle fine dismissed

The High Court yesterday denied more time for a cigarettes smuggler to settle his fine as it would defeat the sentence’s purpose of deterrence.

Pengiran Md Aabid Safwan bin Pengiran Wasli pleaded guilty in the Magistrate’s Court on January 24 to a charge for illegal possession of 10 cartons and one packet of smuggled cigarettes.

Customs preventive officers stopped the defendant at Jalan Pasir Berakas and discovered the contraband during an inspection at 4.35pm on October 27, 2021.

The magistrate ordered Pengiran Md Aabid Safwan to settle a BND8,008 fine by July 25, or serve eight months’ jail in default.

At the appeal yesterday, Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong said that the fine imposed is close to the minimum and the six months period was sufficient time to pay. The Chief Justice agreed with the respondent DPP Norhafizah binti Ahmad that allowing time would diminish the deterrent element in the sentence.

“Smuggling of contraband goods is a serious offence,” the Chief Justice further observed on dismissing the appeal.