ICA seizes duty-unpaid cigarettes amounting to $82,000 in potential duty and tax evaded

Duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments of the vessel.
Duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments of the vessel. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
Duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments of the vessel.
Duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments of the vessel.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Hundreds of cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes have been seized by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers from an Indonesian-registered vessel.

The duty-unpaid cigarettes were found in hidden compartments of the vessel, which had arrived at the Singapore Cruise Centre, after ICA officers directed further checks on it on Saturday (Jan 7), at about 2.45am.

Some 804 cartons and 43 packets of the cigarettes were seized, ICA said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 10). The potential duty and Goods and Services Tax evaded came to about $75,460 and $7,100 for the cartons and the packets of cigarettes respectively.


Duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments of the vessel. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY 

All the vessel's crew members - three Indonesian men aged 48, 46 and 33 - as well as the cigarettes and the vessel were handed over to the Singapore Customs for further investigations.

Noting that Singapore's borders are the first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's safety and security, ICA said that it would continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the country's checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in "undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands".

"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," the authority said.