Customs seizes more than 1,600 cartons of illegal cigarettes, arrests 2 men in Marsiling

Duty-unpaid cigarettes that were wrapped in black plastic bags were found in a van during the operation. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
Customs officers had observed two men transferring goods in black trash bags from a truck to a van in a heavy vehicle park. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

SINGAPORE - Two Chinese nationals were arrested and more than 1,600 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized by Singapore Customs officers on Wednesday (Feb 23).

Customs officers had observed the men transferring goods in black trash bags from a Singapore-registered truck to a Singapore-registered van in the vicinity of Marsiling Crescent Heavy Vehicle Park.

The officers moved in to conduct a check and found 1,636 cartons as well as 80 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes, Singapore Customs said in a statement on Saturday (Feb 26).

They searched one man's home, where they found another carton and six packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The duty evaded amounted to about $140,390 and the goods and services tax (GST) evaded was $11,170. The cigarette packets, cartons, van and truck were seized.

Singapore Customs said court proceedings against the men, aged 32 and 42, are ongoing.

It also warned that buying, selling, conveying, delivering or storing duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and GST Act.

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

Vehicles used in committing such offences can also be forfeited, the agency added.

A total of 1,637 cartons and 86 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

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