3 arrested for trying to import counterfeit items at Woodlands, Tuas checkpoints

Suspected counterfeit headsets of assorted brands seized at Tuas checkpoint on Jan 3, 2018.
Suspected counterfeit headsets of assorted brands seized at Tuas checkpoint on Jan 3, 2018. PHOTO: IMMIGRATIONS & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
Suspected counterfeit goods detected by at Woodlands checkpoint on Jan 3, 2018.
Suspected counterfeit goods detected by at Woodlands checkpoint on Jan 3, 2018. PHOTO: IMMIGRATIONS & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Three people were arrested after they attempted to import counterfeit items at Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints on Jan 3, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Police Force said in a joint statement on Wednesday (Jan 17).

In the first case at Tuas Checkpoint, ICA officers directed an arriving Malaysia-registered car for further checks at about 10am.

The car was driven by a 33-year-old Malaysian man, and there were two other passengers in the vehicle.

While checking, the man told the officers that he had to pay goods and services tax for his earphones, speakers and headsets of assorted brands.

At the tax payment office, a Singapore Customs officer noticed that the declared amount for the items, ranging from RM3 (S$1) to RM18, were too low in value.

The case was referred to the police for investigation on suspicion that the man could be importing counterfeit items for commercial purposes.

The man was subsequently arrested for offences under the Trade Marks Act.

In a follow-up operation by the police, more than 70 suspected counterfeit items worth an estimated street value of $800 were seized.

The second case occurred at about 6.50pm at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

A checkpoint officer directed an arriving Malaysia-registered car, with six people in it, for further checks.

The officer found several bags in the car boot, containing multiple items wrapped in transparent plastic, suspected to be counterfeit goods.

The case was referred to the police for investigation.

A 62-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, both Singaporean, were arrested for offences under the Trade Marks Act.

A follow-up raid by the police at the duo's home led to the seizure of more than 110 suspected counterfeit items worth an estimated $1,800 in street value.

Police investigations are ongoing.

ICA said it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband items.

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, said ICA.

The police said they take a serious view against intellectual property right (IPR) infringements and will not hesitate to take action against perpetrators who show blatant disregard for IPR laws.

Those found guilty of importing, possessing or distributing goods with falsely applied trademarks for the purpose of trade can be jailed for up to five years and/or fined up to $100,000.