Guilty plea over undeclared alcohol

National 1 minute, 26 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A Malaysian man pleaded guilty yesterday at the Magistrates Court to possessing undeclared alcohol.

The defendant, 43-year-old Yap Boon Keng, admitted to having two bottles of whiskey and 36 cans of beer in his possession.

The undeclared items were found under a car seat on January 6 during a check by customs officers at the Kuala Lurah Control Post of the Toyota Corolla he was driving.

The father of four also pleaded guilty to possession of seven cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

The cigarettes were found during the same spot check by customs officers.

In his mitigation for the charge on the untaxed cigarettes, however, the defendant said that before the customs officers conducted the checks, he had already told them that he wanted to declare the cigarettes.

He said that he was confused after two different officers gave him different answers on whether he could bring in the cigarettes before they eventually decided he wasn’t allowed to do so.

The presiding magistrate, Azrimah Hj Abd Rahman, ruled that the defendant’s initiative to ask to declare the cigarettes when he arrived at the border could amount to a defence.

The guilty plea for illegal possession of untaxed cigarettes was then rejected by the court pending a further investigation into the case.

The defendant was granted $3,000 bail or one local surety by the magistrate.

Under Section 146 (1) (i) of the Excise Order, individuals found guilty of bringing in untaxed goods are liable to a fine of not less than six times the amount of excise duty or $40,000, whichever is the lesser amount.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, hasn’t been sentenced and the case was adjourned until a further mention on January 30.

The Brunei Times