More than $140,000 worth of contraband cigarettes seized at Woodlands Checkpoint

SINGAPORE- Contraband cigarettes worth more than $140,000 were seized at Woodlands Checkpoint on Thursday (Oct 22), said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority(ICA) in a media release on Friday.

On Thursday morning, ICA officers found 995 cartons of contraband cigarettes in the modified air conditioner duct behind the overhead luggage compartment of a Malaysia-registered bus. The vehicle was driven by a 44-year-old man.

Later on the same day at about 6.20pm, officers uncovered 224 cartons and 1,261 packets of contraband cigarettes in the modified compartments of another Malaysia-registered car. The 53-year-old male driver was accompanied by a 58-year-old male passenger.

The total duty as well as Goods and Services Tax evaded amounted to approximately $104,380 and $9,960 respectively.

All the three Malaysians, as well as exhibits and vehicles for both cases were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations.

The ICA added that vehicles used in the commission of such offences are liable to be forfeited.

The same method of concealment could also be used to smuggle dangerous materials such as weapons or explosives into Singapore, said ICA.

It added that 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 contraband items.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg