3,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized at Tuas Checkpoint in three days: ICA

The duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in a bus and prime mover, both Malaysia-registered, that were trying to enter Singapore on separate days.
The duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in a bus and prime mover, both Malaysia-registered, that were trying to enter Singapore on separate days.PHOTOS: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - More than 3,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized at Tuas Checkpoint by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers between Saturday (Oct 12) and Monday.

More than $310,000 in duty and goods and services tax (GST) were evaded in total.

The duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in a bus and prime mover, both Malaysia-registered, that were trying to enter Singapore on separate days, said ICA in a statement on Wednesday.

In both cases, officers noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the vehicles and directed them for further checks.

In the first case last Saturday around 9.50am, 925 cartons of contraband cigarettes were found hidden in the modified compartment below the floorboard of the Malaysia-registered bus.

The bus was driven by a 28-year-old Malaysian man and was ferrying several passengers into Singapore.

The second case happened on Monday around 1.40am, in which 2,278 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were hidden in the modified roof compartment of an empty container of the Malaysia-registered prime mover. The vehicle was driven by a 29-year-old Malaysian man.

In both cases, the drivers were arrested and handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation. They have also been charged in court.

The total amount of duty and GST evaded in the cases were about $291,470 and $21,400 respectively.