PICTURES

1.9 million packets of contraband cigarettes seized by S'pore Customs so far this year

The 10,800 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes recovered from the bonded truck rented by the 57-year-old Singaporean man. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
The 10,800 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes recovered from the bonded truck rented by the 57-year-old Singaporean man. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
Singapore Customs enforcement officers worked round the clock to search for the bonded truck rented by the 57-year-old Singaporean man. Their efforts paid off nine days later when they managed to locate the truck in a car park at Bangkit Road. Anothe
Singapore Customs enforcement officers worked round the clock to search for the bonded truck rented by the 57-year-old Singaporean man. Their efforts paid off nine days later when they managed to locate the truck in a car park at Bangkit Road. Another 10,800 cartons of contraband cigarettes were found in the truck. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
Singapore Customs officers intercepted the van at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 on Sept 25, 2013, and found 2,500 cartons of contraband cigarettes in it. The 2,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes found in the van were seized. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE C
Singapore Customs officers intercepted the van at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 on Sept 25, 2013, and found 2,500 cartons of contraband cigarettes in it. The 2,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes found in the van were seized. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
Singapore Customs officers intercepted the van at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 on Sept 25, 2013, and found 2,500 cartons of contraband cigarettes in it. The driver, a 57-year-old Singaporean man, was arrested. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
Singapore Customs officers intercepted the van at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 on Sept 25, 2013, and found 2,500 cartons of contraband cigarettes in it. The driver, a 57-year-old Singaporean man, was arrested. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

Singapore Customs seized about 1.9 million packets of contraband cigarettes in the first nine months of this year, almost double the 1.03 million seized in the same period last year.

The agency under the Finance Ministry attributed it to stepped up enforcement and its collaboration with other law enforcement agencies against contraband cigarette smugglers, peddlers and buyers.

Duty collected from legal cigarettes in the first nine months of this year also showed a spike of 4.1 per cent to $721 million, compared to $692 million collected in the same period last year.

Singapore Customs said this suggests that smokers here are increasingly ditching contraband for duty-paid cigarettes.