KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Six members of a syndicate said to be involved in a luxury car duty evasion scheme that cost the government RM33 million are expected to be charged in court from tomorrow.
The six are expected to be slapped with more than 21 charges under Section 471 of the Penal Code for forgery of a document with intention of cheating, senior director of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Special Operations Division Datuk Azmi Kamaruzaman confirmed with Utusan Malaysia yesterday.
Section 468 of the same law provides for a maximum punishment of up to seven years in jail and a fine for those convicted of this offence.
“The MACC is also investigating the vehicle owners under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA) for possessing and disposing of proceeds from these serious criminal activities,” Azmi was quoted as saying.
The six to be charged were reported by the Malay daily to be working as managers and runners of a warehouse in Langkawi, Kedah that stored luxury cars from brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, McLaren and Rolls Royce.
According to the Utusan Malaysia report, seven people were initially arrested in July last year in a sting codenamed “Op Eagle” after the Auditor-General’s 2022 report disclosed a dearth of some RM72 million in duty collection for over 100 luxury vehicles from the Customs Department in Langkawi between 2012 and 2021.
The MACC uncovered a syndicate said to be conspiring with luxury car owners to obtain exemptions and deductions in duties despite being ineligible, and had allegedly submitted forged statutory declarations of vehicle ownership to the Customs Department.
The newspaper reported that MACC confiscated nine luxury cars of various brands worth around RM12 million in the first phase of the operation from various locations in the northern part of the country, Johor and Sabah.