Customs seizes largest haul of contraband cigarettes since 2009

Singapore Customs seized its largest haul of contraband cigarettes since 2009 during an operation on Jan 23.

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officers checked on a prime-mover that was was suspected to be transporting duty-unpaid cigarettes out of Jurong Port. The vehicle was delivering consignment that had been declared as pottery. However, officers uncovered 18,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from the wooden crates in the trailer.

Three men were arrested and investigations are ongoing.

The authorities mounted three more operations over the next two days in Bukit Panjang and Woodlands, netting a total of 21,227 cartons of contraband cigarettes in the three days. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded exceeded $1.8 million.

Singapore Customs said in a statement that dealing with duty-unpaid goods is a criminal offence. Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty evaded and may be jailed for up to six years.