More than 1,300 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized in two days

Contraband cigarettes hidden in modified floorboard of car.
Contraband cigarettes hidden in modified floorboard of car. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
Contraband cigarettes hidden in modified boot and glove compartment.
Contraband cigarettes hidden in modified boot and glove compartment. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
Lorry with the 'consignment'.
Lorry with the 'consignment'.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - More than 1,300 cartons of contraband cigarettes have been intercepted at the Woodlands Checkpoint since Wednesday (July 1), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said.

"Over the past two days, three cases of contraband cigarettes smuggling had been detected at the Woodlands Checkpoint. The same method of concealment could similarly be used to smuggle dangerous materials such as weapons or explosives into Singapore," ICA said in a statement on Friday.

The largest haul of 959 cartons was found hidden among packet drinks in a Malaysia-registered lorry.

On Thursday at about 3am, a lorry driven by a 35-year-old male Malaysian was stopped by ICA officers for arrival checks.

The consignment was declared as "3,200 cartons of assorted packet drinks". ICA officers directed the lorry for further inspection after they noticed anomalies in the scanned image.

They discovered cartons of contraband cigarettes in sealed packages placed among the packet drinks. There were also cartons hidden in the rear compartment and in the tool box compartment of the lorry.

More than 300 cartons of cigarettes were also seized on Wednesday.

A total of 246 cartons of contraband cigarettes were found in the modified floorboard of a Malaysian-registered car at about 7.20am on July 1. The car was driven by a 31-year-old male Malaysian, ICA said.

On the same day, about an hour later, ICA officers found 96 cartons and 948 packets of contraband cigarettes in various parts of a car driven by a 26-year-old Malaysian man.

The potential customs duty for the three cases was $108,314 and the potential GST amounted to about $10,337.

Investigations are ongoing, ICA said.