Is the Customs Department working with typewriters and homing pigeons?

TTF: Let me get this straight – it takes two months for the police and the Customs Department to decide if or not the jewellery seized during the raids (see news item below) was declared?

What do the police and Customs Departments work with – smoke signals and homing pigeons?

KUALA LUMPUR: The 44 pieces of jewellery sent by a Lebanese firm to the former prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, could be seized if they were not declared to the Customs Department.

“All commercial items must be declared to the Customs Deparment or else it is an offence. Items that are not declared can be seized,” Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri T. Subromaniam told the New Straits Times.

He said there was a likelihood that the jewellery could be seized if they did not receive proper Customs clearance or were not documented.

He was asked to comment on whether any Customs declaration was made or taxes paid on the jewellery sent by Beirut-based firm Global Royalty Trading SAL to Rosmah in February.

The jewellery was seized by police in a raid on residences linked to Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently. It could not be immediately determined whether the jewellery were declared to the Customs Department.

Rosmah’s lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.

News portal Malaysiakini had reported that the Customs Department might seize the 44 pieces of jewellery sent to Rosmah if they were not declared to the department.

In the interview with Malaysiakini, Subromaniam said police had yet to contact the department.

Jelutong member of parliament R.S.N. Rayer had raised questions on how the jewellery got through the Customs.

“Were these consignments declared to the Customs Department when they were brought into Malaysia? Who was the consignee? Was the Customs excise duty paid? How is it that these consignments reached Rosmah safely considering the enormous worth of the jewellery?” Rayer had asked.

On June 26, Global Royalty had filed a US$14.79 million (RM59.831 million) suit against Rosmah over a consignment of 44 pieces of jewellery which were sent to her in February, and seized by the police in May. The company claimed that Rosmah, in a letter dated May 22, acknowledged receiving the items.

Global Royalty claimed that as in previous years, the company would send a consignment of jewellery to Rosmah according to her demand for her to evaluate and purchase, and to be paid by her or by a third party. It said pieces of jewellery that were not chosen would be returned.

“She had acknowledged in writing on receiving the consignment. However, it is no longer in her custody as it had been seized by the Malaysian authorities,” the statement of claim read.

Rosmah’s lawyer at the time responded to the statement of claim, saying that the 44 pieces of jewellery items from Global Royalty Trading SAL were only for viewing, and that Rosmah denied purchasing any of the items.

The government is seeking to intervene in the case on the basis that the items were allegedly purchased using stolen funds.

Senior Federal counsel S. Narkunavathy had said that the Attorney-General’s Chambers would apply to become an intervener on grounds that the jewellery mentioned in the court papers belonged to the government and that the items were allegedly bought using stolen money.

Source: NST Online