SINGAPORE - Around $19,200 worth of contraband cigarettes were seized by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officials at Woodlands Checkpoint over two separate cases in the past week.
The ICA said in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening (July 17) that the first case took place on Friday. A 27-year-old Malaysian man was stopped by officers at the checkpoint at around 8.50am, and checks on his car uncovered 156 cartons and 520 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.
The cigarettes were found in modified compartments such as the dashboard, fuel tank and floorboard of the Malaysia-registered car.
The unpaid duty and goods and services tax (GST) for these cigarettes amounted to $17,763 and $1,301.96 respectively.
Officers foiled a second smuggling attempt on Monday morning. A 37-year-old Malaysian motorcyclist was stopped for further checks, during which officers discovered 16 packets of contraband cigarettes under the seat compartment of his motorcycle and in two Styrofoam boxes that he had. One packet of contraband cigarettes was also found in his pocket.
The unpaid duty and GST in this case amounted to $144.75 and $14.16 respectively.
Both cases were referred to the Singapore Customs for further investigations.
Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.
Those convicted can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, and jailed for up to six years.
Repeat offenders caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products will also face imprisonment.