Singapore Customs arrests three men and seizes more than 500 cartons and 700 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes
Singapore Customs arrested three male Malaysians, aged 28 to 33, and seized a total of 512 cartons and 759 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation on 22 November 2022.
In an operation conducted at an industrial building at Yishun Industrial Street 1, Customs officers checked on three men and two pick-up trucks inside a warehouse unit. They uncovered 259 cartons and 520 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in one of the trucks and another 253 cartons and 239 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the other truck. The duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in modified compartments under the cargo bed of the vehicles. The three men were arrested.
In follow-up operations, Customs officers seized two other trucks, parked at separate locations, which were suspected to be also used to smuggle duty-unpaid cigarettes into Singapore earlier. Investigations revealed that the trio were allegedly engaged by unidentified persons in Malaysia to dismantle the trucks and retrieve the duty-unpaid cigarettes in the warehouse unit.
All the duty-unpaid cigarettes and four trucks were seized in the operation. The total duty and Goods and Services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $50,200 and $3,990 respectively. Investigations are ongoing.
Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act. Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.
Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email [email protected] to report these illegal activities.
24 November 2022