Published: Friday March 22, 2013 MYT 8:59:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 22, 2013 MYT 11:54:36 PM
Customs tracking hundreds of Langkawi-registered cars with falsified papers
By PATRICK LEE
PETALING JAYA: Up to 368 Langkawi-registered vehicles are running in the rest of Malaysia under suspected forged customs declaration forms, the Customs Department said Friday.
"We have detected 368 vehicles originally registered in Langkawi and subsequently registered in Principal Customs Areas using suspected falsified custom declaration forms without payment of customs duties and taxes," a statement from the agency said.
Areas outside of Langkawi and Labuan, it said, were known as Principal Customs Areas (PCAs).
It added that it had seized 76 vehicles "for further investigation" and were tracking the remainder.
The department did not offer an explanation over the suspected falsified forms.
On Thursday, MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong met with used car dealers who had their cars towed away by Customs over unpaid duties.
The dealers claimed that duties for these cars had been paid, and were approved by various government agencies.
Previously, Chong said he had met with Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai over the matter, adding that an investgation was underway.
Meanwhile, Customs said owners of Langkawi-registered cars could go to the deparment's Putrajaya headquarters to check if their declaration forms were valid.
Citing item 21A of the Customs Duties (Exemption) Order 1988, its said vehicles from Langkawi and Labuan were allowed to be taken to the PCAs for not more than 30 days in a single trip and not more than 90 days per year.
Owners wanting to do otherwise needed to pay customs duties through a declaration form to cancel the two islands' vehicle registration status.
"(Those) exceeding the permitted period without payment of custom duties are deemed to be uncustomed goods under the Customs Act 1967 and are subject to seizure," it said.
The agency advised buyers to be "extra cautious" of vehicles registered in these places or of "highly discounted" models.
It added that another 409 Langkawi-registered vehicles exceeded their allowed stay in the PCAs, and that they would be tracked and seized.
Hundreds of used cars from Langkawi seized over unpaid taxes