Local man fined $15,500 for possession of untaxed goods

National 1 minute, 12 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A LOCAL man was fined $15,500 at the Magistrates’ Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possessing 41 cartons of untaxed cigarettes and poultry.

Awg Maini Ahmat, 40, was caught on June 5 this year when customs officers at the Kuala Lurah Control Post inspected his car and found the cigarettes and eight kilogrammes of chicken wings.

While being questioned, the unemployed defendant told investigators he had been asked to buy the cigarettes on behalf of his Filipino friends and that he had bought them all in the Malaysian town of Limbang for $342, although he admitted that the chicken wings were his and for his own consumption.

The defendant, who lives close to the border in Kg Limau Manis, also told investigators that the chicken wings had cost him $36, lower than the market price of $56 he would have to pay in Brunei for the same amount.

During his mitigation, the father of seven pleaded for a lenient sentence from the court.

Presiding Senior Magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah Hj Mohd Hussain subsequently sentenced him to a fine of $15,000 for the untaxed cigarettes and $500 for the contraband poultry.

He was given a one-month grace period to settle the fine or risk being imprisoned for 13 months.

All the contraband goods were ordered to be forfeited to the state and destroyed.

Under Section 146(1)(i) of Excise Order 2006, first offenders are fined at least six times the dutiable amount of the undeclared goods and not more than 20 times.

The Brunei Times