Driver caught with illegal cigarettes stashed in car

ICA officers found the duty-unpaid cigarettes in various places in the Malaysia-registered car, such as inside the modified dashboard.
ICA officers found the duty-unpaid cigarettes in various places in the Malaysia-registered car, such as inside the modified dashboard.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ICA

A total of 227 cartons and 1,366 packets of contraband cigarettes were seized by the authorities on Monday afternoon at Tuas Checkpoint.

In a Facebook post yesterday morning, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said its officers had found the duty-unpaid cigarettes stashed in various compartments of a Malaysia-registered car.

In the pictures posted by ICA, the cigarettes were concealed in places such as the inside of the car's modified dashboard, front bumper and rear fender.

The car was driven by a 42-year-old Malaysian woman. The case has been handed over to Singapore Customs.

Just last Friday, ICA seized around $19,200 worth of duty-unpaid cigarettes that had been concealed using similar methods, also involving a Malaysian driver and a Malaysia-registered car.

ICA said this method of concealment is a "cause for concern".

"Similar methods may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore," the agency added.

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, being in possession of or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

Those who are convicted can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, and jailed for up to six years.

Repeat offenders who are caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products also face imprisonment.

Tee Zhuo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2018, with the headline 'Driver caught with illegal cigarettes stashed in car'. Print Edition | Subscribe