Company director fined $28,260 for importing, storing contraband cigarettes

A total of 24 cartons, 13 packets and 16 sticks of contraband cigarettes were seized in the operation, with an estimated $1,960 and $140 in evaded duty and GST respectively.
A total of 24 cartons, 13 packets and 16 sticks of contraband cigarettes were seized in the operation, with an estimated $1,960 and $140 in evaded duty and GST respectively.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

SINGAPORE - A company director was on Thursday (June 15) fined $28,260 for importing and storing contraband cigarettes.

The 45-year-old Chinese national, Yin Xidi, had a parcel delivered to an office at the Marina Bay Financial Centre.

A female employee received the parcel - declared to contain towels and magazines - on his behalf on June 13.

Singapore Customs officers traced the parcel and went to Yin's home in Marina Boulevard later that same day.

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Officers opened the parcel in his presence and found nine cartons and 10 packets of contraband cigarettes inside.

The officers searched the unit and found another 15 cartons, three packets and 16 sticks of contraband cigarettes.

Yin had asked his overseas friend to send him contraband cigarettes through parcel post for his own consumption, and was aware that the duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the cigarettes were not paid, investigations revealed.

A total of 24 cartons, 13 packets and 16 sticks of contraband cigarettes were seized in the operation, with an estimated $1,960 and $140 in evaded duty and GST respectively.

If Yin cannot pay the fine, he will get 113 days' jail in default.

If convicted of importing duitable goods with the intention to defraud the Government of any duty and GST can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.

Repeat offenders who are caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products will also be jailed.

Said Mr Mr Yeo Ban Meng, Head of Suppression and Community Engagement, Singapore Customs: "Those who think they can avoid detection by importing duty-unpaid cigarettes through parcel post should think twice. Stringent checks are conducted on parcel posts. We are keeping a close watch and such offenders will be prosecuted in accordance with the law."