2 shipping companies scheduled for sentencing on April 9
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TWO shipping companies are scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday after they pleaded guilty to their respective charges of entering Brunei waters without clearance, failure to declare goods and under declaring goods.
The defendant, a Malaysian registered company trading under the name Ngu Shipping & Trading Company Sdn Bhd, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of abetting the master of two Malaysian registered ships, JingLuck Dua and Abasa No 1, to enter Brunei waters without obtaining clearance from a customs port in Brunei between January and November in 2013.
Meanwhile, a Bruneian registered company, Abasa Shipping and Trading Sdn Bhd, has admitted to 19 counts of importing undeclared goods, namely gravel stones between May and November in 2013.
Abasa Shipping and Trading Sdn Bhd further pleaded guilty to a charge of under-declaring their goods that they were importing by abetting an agent from Hafiza Enterprise to make an incorrect declaration to the officer of the Royal Customs and Excise Department in Brunei.
The court document states that the defendant through its director admitted that it had abetted its agent to make incorrect declaration on February 26, 2013, to state that the total weight of stones imported by Jinluck Dua was 250 tonnes, when the total weight of the stones was 908.50 tonnes.
During the proceedings yesterday, defence counsel for both defendants, YC Lee, is seeking for the court to take into consideration of the inordinate delay in bringing the case to court as it had caused substantial financial loss on the defendant.
He went on to say that there is no breach of national security as the company is a legitimate business and the barges have been using that route for 30 years, a practice that was allowed by the customs department.
The defence counsel further said that they are seeking for the return of both barges and the remaining gravel stone that was confiscated.
During the proceedings yesterday, Chief Magistrate Muhammed Faisal PDJLD DSP Hj Kefli has scheduled April 9 to deliver his sentencing verdict.
The Brunei Times