6,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized

The cigarettes were hidden in a Malaysia-registered lorry in a consignment that had been declared to contain vegetables. The duty and goods and services tax evaded amounted to $498,192 and $36,744 respectively.
The cigarettes were hidden in a Malaysia-registered lorry in a consignment that had been declared to contain vegetables. The duty and goods and services tax evaded amounted to $498,192 and $36,744 respectively.PHOTO: ICA

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers seized 6,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes at Woodlands Checkpoint on Tuesday.

A 47-year-old male Malaysian driver of a Malaysia-registered lorry about to enter Singapore was directed for further checks at the checkpoint at about 6am, according to an ICA press statement yesterday.

The stash was found hidden in a consignment that had been declared to contain assorted vegetables. The driver, cigarettes and lorry were handed over to Singapore Customs for investigations. The vehicle used in the commission of such offences is liable to be forfeited.

The duty and goods and services tax evaded amounted to $498,192 and $36,744 respectively.

"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. The security checks are critical to our nation's security," the ICA said.

It will continue security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent the smuggling in of "undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband".

"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 warned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline '6,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized'. Print Edition | Subscribe