SINGAPORE - More than 2,700 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized from a farm at Sungei Tengah Road on Friday (June 2), Singapore Customs said in a statement on Thursday (June 8).
Customs officers had kept a close watch on the farm that morning and spotted a van, filled with brown boxes in its trunk, parked inside the farm.
After seeing a 57-year-old man leaving a unit in the farm, officers sprung into action and found contraband cigarettes inside the van.
They then raided the unit the man had been in, and found more contraband cigarettes.
A total of 2,776 cartons, 345 packets and 43 sticks of contraband cigarettes were seized from the unit and the van.
The man was arrested and his van seized. He was charged in court on June 3 for storing duty-unpaid cigarettes.
As part of follow-up operations that same morning, Singapore Customs raided a commerical building in Soon Lee Street and found another 150 cartons and 25 packets of contraband cigarettes in a unit there.
In total, 2,926 cartons, 370 packets and 43 sticks of cigarettes were seized. They were worth $246,320 and $18,160 in evaded duty and Goods and Services Tax respectively.
Under the Customs Act and the GST Act, it is illegal to buy, sell, convey, deliver, store, keep, have in possession or deal with duty-unpaid goods.
Those convicted of these offences can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, and/or jailed for up to six years.
Repeat offenders who are caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products will be jailed, and vehicles used during such offences can be forfeited.
Those with information on smuggling activities or contraband items can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or make a report through the Customs@SG mobile app.