Man caught again over duty-unpaid cigarettes

The man was caught in the carpark of an East Coast Road mall with a van containing bags of duty-unpaid cigarettes.
The man was caught in the carpark of an East Coast Road mall with a van containing bags of duty-unpaid cigarettes.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

A 37-year-old man out on bail over his role in dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes in August was nabbed again for the same offence on Wednesday.

Singapore Customs said in a statement yesterday that the man was caught in the multi-storey carpark of an East Coast Road mall during an operation.

Officers first observed him driving a car into the carpark and stopping beside a silver van. He was then seen alighting from his vehicle and opening the door of the van.

After conducting checks on him, the officers found a total of 1,375 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in several canvas bags in the van.

The officers followed up with another search in Lorong 20 Geylang, where they unlocked a white van with a key found in the man's car.

They found another 200 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van.

Officers first observed him driving a car into the carpark and stopping beside a silver van... After conducting checks on him, the officers found a total of 1,375 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in several canvas bags in the van.

In its statement, Singapore Customs said the total duty evaded amounted to about $145,960 and the goods and services tax (GST) evaded was about $10,680.

Officers also seized a frequency jammer - a controlled item - which was found in the car.

Those convicted of dealing with duty-unpaid goods can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.

Repeat offenders caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products face mandatory imprisonment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2017, with the headline 'Man caught again over duty-unpaid cigarettes'. Print Edition | Subscribe