Man caught with 11,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes evaded over $1m in duty and taxes

The contraband cigarettes were hidden within a consignment of paper rolls on a Malaysia-registered lorry.
The contraband cigarettes were hidden within a consignment of paper rolls on a Malaysia-registered lorry.PHOTOS: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - In its second largest haul of contraband cigarettes uncovered within a month, officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) seized about 11,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes at Woodlands Checkpoint last Friday (Aug 23).

Officers seized 11,054 cartons and 402 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes, which were hidden within a consignment of paper rolls on a Malaysia-registered lorry, after noticing anomalies in scanned images of the consignment.

Officers arrested the 31-year-old Malaysian driver of the vehicle and handed over the case to Singapore Customs.

The total duty evaded amounted to $1,075,010, while the total goods and services tax evaded amounted to $78,610.

ICA said that the method of concealment was a cause for concern as the same methods used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore.

"ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, cargo and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband across our borders," it said.