ICA seizes $104,000 worth of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden inside lorry mattresses

A stash of duty-unpaid cigarettes worth an estimated $104,000 was uncovered in a routine check on a Singapore-registered lorry at Keppel Distripark. --PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
A stash of duty-unpaid cigarettes worth an estimated $104,000 was uncovered in a routine check on a Singapore-registered lorry at Keppel Distripark. --PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - A stash of duty-unpaid cigarettes worth an estimated $104,000 was uncovered in a routine check on a Singapore-registered lorry at Keppel Distripark.

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers found the contraband inside four mattresses in the lorry, which was being driven by a 38-year-old man with a 46-year-old attendant, at about 8am on February 6. Both men are Singaporean.

A total of 980 cartons, each containing 200 cigarettes, was seized.

While the estimated value of the cigarettes is $104,400, the evaded duty tax and GST involved amounted to about S$76,000 and $7,300 respectively.

The two men and the contraband were referred to the Singapore Customs for further investigation.

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

"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."

amirh@sph.com.sg