Three attempts to smuggle cigarettes stubbed out by ICA

Contraband cigarettes concealed at the base of cabinets and tables.
Contraband cigarettes concealed at the base of cabinets and tables. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
900 cartons of contraband cigarettes found in hollow space of wooden frames.
900 cartons of contraband cigarettes found in hollow space of wooden frames.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
900 cartons of contraband cigarettes recovered.
900 cartons of contraband cigarettes recovered.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
Contraband cigarettes found in wooden panels.
Contraband cigarettes found in wooden panels.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
The lorry that carried the consignment.
The lorry that carried the consignment.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Three attempts to smuggle contraband cigarettes into Singapore have been thwarted by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in the last week.

Close to 4,100 cartons of cigarettes were seized at the Jurong Main Port Gate as smugglers tried to pass them off as consignments of other items.

The unpaid duty and GST on the contraband amounted to over $425,000, the ICA said in a statement on Thursday.

In the first incident on Dec 18, officers observed anomalies in the scanned shipment of cabinets and tables. Inspections later revealed 1,648 cartons of cigarettes hidden in the base and side walls of the furniture. The 48-year-old driver was arrested.

Four days later, a 53-year-old man allegedly tried to smuggle 900 cartons in the spaces between three pallets of paintings, drawings and pastels.

In the last incident on Dec 23, officers found 1,550 cartons of the illegal items in a consignment of sound proofing panels. The 39-year-old lorry driver was also arrested.

All vehicles and contraband have been handed over to Customs for investigation.

The ICA said that if found to have been used for smuggling, the vehicles could be forfeited.