7,400 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized by Singapore Customs; 3 men arrested

In a follow-up search, officers found 14 hollow concrete blocks in an industrial unit, where the cigarettes were believed to be hidden in before they were retrieved and transferred.
In a follow-up search, officers found 14 hollow concrete blocks in an industrial unit, where the cigarettes were believed to be hidden in before they were retrieved and transferred.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

SINGAPORE - Nearly 7,400 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized by Singapore Customs last Saturday (Dec 21).

The cigarettes were being transferred from a Malaysia-registered truck to a Singapore-registered truck at an industrial building in Sunview Road when Singapore Customs officers seized them.

Three men - a Singaporean and two Malaysians - aged between 35 and 39 were arrested, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

It seized both trucks and a total of 7,392 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the operation.

In a follow-up search, Singapore Customs officers found 14 hollow concrete blocks in an industrial unit in Gul Road, near Pioneer Road, where the cigarettes were believed to be hidden in before they were retrieved and transferred.

The duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded was about $631,270 and $46,540 respectively. Court proceedings against the three men are ongoing, Singapore Customs said.

It warned that it is illegal to buy, sell, convey, deliver, store, keep, possess or deal with duty-unpaid goods. Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed for up to six years, or both.

Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.

Members of the public can provide information on smuggling activities or the evasion of Customs duty or GST by calling the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000, sending an e-mail to customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg or using the Customs @ SG mobile app to report these illegal activities.