Over 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes and 135kg of chewing tobacco seized at Tuas

SINGAPORE - More than 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes and 135kg of chewing tobacco were found in a Malaysia-registered bus at Tuas Checkpoint on Saturday.

In a joint operation by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Customs, officers found 1,205 cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes and the chewing tobacco hidden within the modified compartments of the bus during a check around 6.15am on Feb 14. The driver was a 33-year-old Malaysian man.

The amount of duty and GST evaded for the cigarettes and chewing tobacco is about $133,820 and $11,820 respectively.

The driver, the seized items and the bus were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations. The bus may also be forfeited.

ICA said in a statement on Monday: "We 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.

"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," it added.