More than 250kg of contraband chewing tobacco seized at Tuas Checkpoint over Christmas weekend

This 97kg stash of chewing tobacco was the second of two smuggling attempts foiled at the Tuas Checkpoint over the long Christmas weekend.
This 97kg stash of chewing tobacco was the second of two smuggling attempts foiled at the Tuas Checkpoint over the long Christmas weekend. PHOTO: ICA

SINGAPORE - Two attempts to smuggle duty unpaid chewing tobacco via the Tuas Checkpoint over the long Christmas weekend were foiled by authorities.

In a news release on Sunday (Dec 27) evening, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said a total of 28,769 sachets weighing more than 250kg were seized.

The first attempt on Christmas Eve at about 10am involved a Malaysia-registered trailer that conveying two empty chemical tankers. It was driven by a 51-year-old Malaysian man.

Checks conducted on the trailer uncovered 18,002 sachets of chewing tobacco which weighed about 162kg and were wrapped in black and white plastic bags.

They were stashed in the sleeping compartment behind the driver's seat.

Two days later on Dec 26, an empty Malaysia-registered lorry driven by a 37-year-old Malaysian man was directed by ICA officers for further checks at around 4.15pm.

The contraband tobacco was found hidden in a modified compartment under the vehicle's floorboard. There were a total of 10,767 sachets weighing approximately 97kg.

ICA said the total duty evaded in both cases amounted to $77,420, while the total Goods and Services Tax evaded was $5,420.

Both men and their illegal cargo were handed over to the Singapore Customs for investigations and their vehicles may be forfeited.