Over 2,000 cartons of cigarettes seized at checkpoint

The 2,190 cartons and 202 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were found in a modified compartment at the base of the fuel bowser of the prime mover at Tuas Checkpoint. ICA officers had noticed anomalies in the scanned image of the empty fuel bowser.
The 2,190 cartons and 202 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were found in a modified compartment at the base of the fuel bowser of the prime mover at Tuas Checkpoint. ICA officers had noticed anomalies in the scanned image of the empty fuel bowser.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

A 39-year-old Malaysian man who tried to smuggle more than 2,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes into Singapore in a modified prime mover was caught at Tuas Checkpoint last Friday night.

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers had directed the man, who was alone in his Malaysia-registered prime mover, for further checks at about 9.45pm. They noticed anomalies in the scanned image of the empty fuel bowser or tanker that the prime mover towed.

Inspections revealed 2,190 cartons and 202 packets of contraband cigarettes concealed in a modified compartment at the base of the fuel bowser.

The unpaid duty and goods and services tax for the cigarettes amounted to about $171,500 and $12,710 respectively.

The man, his vehicle and the contraband cigarettes were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations.

In its statement yesterday, ICA said it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at checkpoints to prevent smuggling attempts.

"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," said ICA.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Over 2,000 cartons of cigarettes seized at checkpoint'. Print Edition | Subscribe