$48,000 fine for posession of untaxed cigarettes

National 1 minute, 21 seconds


THE Magistrates’ Court yesterday imposed a $48,000 fine on a 26-year-old man after he pleaded guilty to possession of 129 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

The court document stated that the defendant Mohammad Sami Ally @ Mohammad Hadi Salleh was found in possession of the cartons of cigarettes when Traffic Police personnel stopped the defendant’s car for an inspection on April 10.

Initially, the traffic police found three cartons of cigarettes inside the car. The defendant was brought to the Police Headquarters in Gadong for further inspection and a total of 129 cartons of cigarettes were found inside three boxes at the passenger seat.

The customs calculated that the excise duty of the cigarettes that was due was $6,010.

During investigation at the Royal Customs and Excise Department, Sami Ally said that the cigarettes did not belong to him but it had belonged to a unknown person.

The defendant had acted as a courier for this person by picking up the cigarettes from a man named “C Zam” at the Kg Junjongan mousetrail.

The defendant, who had done this service on three occasions, would have earned a $100 commission for transporting the cigarettes to the unknown man at a shop in Kg Tungku.

During the proceedings yesterday, Sami Ally said that he committed the offence because he was unemployed and needed the money to support his daily needs.

The presiding magistrate has ordered for all the seized items to be forfeited to the state and for the defendant to pay the fines by December 31, 2016.

Failure to pay the fines would result in the defendant to serve 14 months in jail for in-default.

The Brunei Times