BUKIT MERTAJAM – Police arrested 12 men and seized 4.75 million sticks of smuggled white cigarettes worth RM7.8 million in a series of raids in Bukit Mertajam here two days ago.
Penang police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said acting on a tip-off and surveillance, a team from the state police criminal investigation department and the Seberang Perai Tengah (SPT) district police, conducted the raids, with the first on a terrace house in Alma, where six men were arrested.
He said the second raid was on a house in Taman Seri Juru, where five men were arrested, and the third raid was at Taman Cendana Juru, which led to the arrest of another man.
All the suspects, aged between 18 and 38, are unemployed with five of them having previous records, he told a media conference here today. They are in remand for 13 days to facilitate investigation.
He said a total of 680 boxes containing 34,000 cartons of white cigarette and nine cars were seized in the raids.
The cigarettes are smuggled into the country for markets in Perlis, Kedah and Penang, he said, adding that the police were looking for the mastermind of the cigarette smuggling syndicate.