Bandar Seri Begawan - The Bandar Magistrate's Court yesterday imposed a $3,100 fine or two months' imprisonment in default on a 41-year-old Malaysian man after he pleaded guilty to possession of undeclared cigarettes at the border.
Yong Poh Heng, who makes a living as a technician at a local company in Kuala Belait, arrived at the Sungai Tujoh Customs Control Post at 1pm on January 1, 2013. He had driven his car and was carrying two passengers.
As a routine inspection, Customs officers enquired if there were any goods to declare, which the defendant denied. A thorough inspection later revealed six cartons and two packets of cigarettes hidden by the defendant in various places in the car.
During investigations upon detention, the defendant said he had bought the cigarettes in Miri for about RM300 to RM400. Duty for the cigarettes amounts to $310.
The defendant mitigated in court that his two children had just started school, citing extra expenses while he had just heard that his mother-in-law was sick and has no other family member to rely on for medical expenses.
Senior Magistrate Pg Masni Pg Hj Bahar took these into consideration while ruling out that the defendant had blatantly concealed the cigarettes to avoid being levied.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin