GEORGE TOWN: A father and his son claimed trial at the Magistrate’s Court here today to a charge of possessing 186,720 contraband cigarettes.

Abdul Haq Abdul Ghany, 71, and Seeni Bazarudeen Abdul Haq, 43, who were brought to the court separately, were charged before Magistrate Jamaliah Abd Manap.

They are accused of possessing 186,720 contraband cigarettes of various brands worth RM15,213.20 at a sundry shop in Lebuh Raya Thean Teik at about 1pm on Feb 4.

The duo nodded when asked if they understood the charge read before them.

They then pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to the offence.

They were charged under Section 135 (1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967, which is punishable under Section 135(1)(iii) of the same act, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

If convicted, the duo are liable to a fine of between RM152,132 and RM304,264 or a jail term of not more than three years, or both.

Both the father and son were arrested by the authorities during a raid on Feb 4, where the raiding party had seized the assortment of cigarettes.

They included 154,400 John cigarettes, 200 Saat cigarettes, 1,200 Luffman cigarettes, 4,160 LA cigarettes, 5,040 Gudang Garam cigarettes, 1,920 Minna cigarettes, 5,200 U2 cigarettes, 9,000 Fisher branded cigarettes, 2,600 Tex cigarettes, 1,200 Canyon cigarettes and 1,800 Fort cigarettes.

Customs Department prosecution officer Siti Nurfirziatul Fazliani Mohd Zain prosecuted the case while lawyer Datuk K. Supramaniam represented both the accused.

Siti proposed for a RM10,000 bail for each of the accused.

However, Supramaniam requested for a lower bail at RM5,000 each with one surety.

“The son is working as a trader and is a father of four kids. He earns about RM2,000 a month while his father is not working and is taking care of his wife, who is blind and unable to move freely.

“The main reason for the bail is to ensure they attend the court proceedings,” said Supramaniam in his mitigation.

Jamaliah then allowed bail at RM6,000 with one surety and fixed March 13 for case mention.

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Abdul Haq Abdul Ghany being led by a policeman at George Town Magistrate’s Court, Penang today. Pix by Danial Saad

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