16 men nabbed over contraband cigarettes, more than $500,000 in duties and taxes evaded

   A total of 2,967 cartons and 19,018 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized from the operations.
A total of 2,967 cartons and 19,018 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized from the operations.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Sixteen men were nabbed in the last two weeks over contraband cigarettes, said the Singapore Customs in a Facebook post on Wednesday (April 24).

The post said that 12 Singaporeans, three Chinese nationals and a Malaysian were arrested in a series of islandwide operations carried out by Singapore Customs officers.

The operations were to clamp down on activities involving duty-unpaid cigarettes.

A total of 2,967 cartons and 19,018 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized during the operations.

The total duty and goods and services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $501,680 and $36,690 for the cartons and packets respectively.

Five vehicles and more than $6,000 in cash were also seized by customs officers.

The post added: "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."

Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, or jailed for up to six years, or both, said Singapore Customs.

Vehicles used while committing such offences can also be seized.