Three men arrested for attempting to smuggle 1,515 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes

SINGAPORE - Three men were arrested in the early hours of Friday (July 1) morning for attempting to smuggle 1,515 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes into Singapore by sea.

At 1.45am, officers from the Police Coast Guard checked on a foreign-flagged vessel at the sea off Jurong Port and discovered the cigarettes, worth more than $196,000, wrapped in black plastic bags and hidden inside the cargo hold, the police said in a release.

The cigarettes and the vessel involved were seized, and three men, aged between 35 and 47, were arrested.

The total duty evaded was more than $148,000 and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded exceeded $13,000.

Investigations by Singapore Customs are ongoing.

Commander of the Police Coast Guard, Senior Assistant Commissioner of police Hsu Sin Yun, commended his officers for their vigilance.

"The Police Coast Guard will not tolerate any illegal activities in Singapore waters, including the smuggling of duty-unpaid cigarettes. The Police Coast Guard will continue to step up its checks against such illicit activities," he said.