World

Singaporean housewife said to be mastermind of syndicate smuggling luxury cars

A Singaporean housewife has been detained by the Johor Customs Department over the alleged smuggling of used luxury cars from Singapore.

State Customs director Datuk Ramli Johari said the suspect, who is in her 20s, was arrested at her house in Taman Laguna at around 3pm on Jan 20.

He said enforcement officers from the department had seized three luxury cars parked inside the compound of the woman's house, The Star reported.

"We have been monitoring the case for quite some time and believe that the suspect is one of the masterminds of the syndicate selling used luxury cars from Singapore," said Mr Ramli at a press conference after attending the World Customs Day state-level celebrations in Johor Baru yesterday.

Mr Ramli said 23 Singapore-registered vehicles were also seized after the suspect revealed that they were parked in the housing estate.

Among the seized vehicles were a Mercedes Benz Brabus, Toyota Alphard, Toyota Lexus, Honda Integra, Mazda 5, Toyota Estima and Nissan Silvia, reported The New Straits Times.

"Initial investigations showed that the vehicles have been de-registered in a neighbouring country.

"It is believed the vehicles were kept at specific locations to be sold in the local market at prices that are far cheaper from valid imported cars.

"The permits of the Singapore-registered cars are already expired and they should be sent to (be scrapped) in the Republic," said Mr Ramli.

HUSBAND

The seized cars were worth RM2.9 million (S$983,000), inclusive of RM1.8 million in duties.

Mr Ramli said Johor Customs is also looking for other members of the syndicate, as well as the suspect's Malaysian husband who works in Singapore, NST reported.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1) (d) of the Customs Act 1967.

It carries a fine of no less than 10 times or no more than 20 times the value of the seized items, or up to three years jail, or both, if convicted.

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