SINGAPORE - Checkpoint officers found 9,000 packets of chewing tobacco hidden in various parts of a Malaysian-registered lorry at the Woodlands checkpoint on Tuesday (May 22).
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a Facebook post on Thursday that officers who directed the 35-year-old Malaysian lorry driver for further checks noticed that he had appeared nervous.
During the checks, four bundles of chewing tobacco were seized, including one found inside the driver's toolbox compartment.
The other bundles were hidden under the bed compartment behind the seats.
The case was referred to the Health Sciences Authority for further investigations, ICA said.
In the post, ICA said that Singapore's borders are the first line of defence in safeguarding the country's security.
It added that it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband items.
In July last year, a man was jailed for four weeks for importing almost 5,000 sachets of chewing tobacco worth an estimated $9,200.
This was the first time anyone had been prosecuted under the amended Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, which includes a ban on emerging tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco.
The amended Act came into force in August 2016.
Those convicted of importing, distributing or sell chewing tobacco products can be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $10,000 for the first offence.
Repeat offenders face double those penalties, and any chewing tobacco imported will be confiscated.