6,750 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized by ICA officers at Tuas Checkpoint

A total of 6,750 cartons of contraband cigarettes were found on a 40-footer container at Tuas Checkpoint on Feb 3, 2016.
A total of 6,750 cartons of contraband cigarettes were found on a 40-footer container at Tuas Checkpoint on Feb 3, 2016.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) seized a total of 6,750 cartons of contraband cigarettes from a 40-footer container at Tuas Checkpoint early Wednesday morning (Feb 3).

Officers had directed a Malaysia-registered truck conveying the container to undergo routine checks at about 1.20am on Wednesday. During the inspection, the cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were found hidden among consignments of various items such as foodstuff and plasticware in the container.

The truck was driven by a 44-year-old Malaysian man, who is helping in investigations, the ICA said.

The contraband cigarettes and vehicle were also handed over to the Singapore Customs for investigations.

The potential duty and Goods and Services Tax evaded amounted to about $523,800 and $49,990 respectively. The vehicle used in the commission of the offences is liable to be forfeited.

The ICA said it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands.

"The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore," the authority added.