SINGAPORE - More than 2,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized by Singapore Customs officers in an operation at a multi-storey carpark in Yishun Street 42 on Thursday (March 10).
Two Singaporean men, aged 26 and 31, were arrested during the operation, Singapore Customs said in a statement on Friday (March 11).
During the operation, Singapore Customs officers had observed two men standing in between two Singapore-registered vans with their side compartment doors opened.
One of the vans had contained many brown boxes, said Singapore Customs.
Suspecting that the men were dealing with illegal cigarettes, the officers conducted a check and found 2,016 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van.
A pouch suspected to contain controlled drugs and drug paraphernalia was also found in the other van.
The matter has been referred to police for further investigation.
The two men were arrested and the cigarette packets and vans were seized.
The duty evaded amounted to about $172,160 and the goods and services tax (GST) evaded was $13,700.
Singapore Customs 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.
Members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty of GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org