ICA seizes duty-unpaid cigarettes in lorry carrying fruit at Tuas Checkpoint

ICA officers at Tuas Checkpoint found 1,838 cartons and 703 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in a lorry filled with fruit. PHOTO: ICA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) foiled a plan by smugglers last Saturday (Jan 8) to bring in duty-unpaid cigarettes from Malaysia in a lorry filled with fruit.

In a Facebook post by ICA on Wednesday, it said officers at Tuas Checkpoint noted anomalies when scanning the vehicle and directed the lorry for further checks.

They found 1,838 cartons and 703 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The driver, who is a Malaysian national, and his attendantย were referred to Singapore Customs for further investigation.

Photos by the ICA showed baskets of fruitย stacked up in the back of the lorry, where the illicit cigarettes were believed to have been concealed.

On Dec 20 last year, the authority stopped an attempt to smuggle 600 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes into Singapore that were hidden in air-conditioner units.

Officers at the ICA scanning station in Pasir Panjang similarly noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the container that had air-conditioner units.

The ICA said safeguarding Singapore's borders remains its top priority.

It added: "Similar concealment methods may also be used by terrorists to smuggle security items into Singapore. ICA will continue to conduct security checks to detect and deter smuggling attempts, to keep Singapore safe."

Those who buy, sell or deal with duty-unpaid goods can be fined up to 40 times the amount of levies evaded and jailed for up to six years.

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