More than 3,650 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized by ICA

SINGPAORE - More than 3,650 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized at Woodlands Checkpoint on Friday (Jan 29) and Saturday (Jan 30) by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers.

On Friday (Jan 29), at about 4.10pm. ICA officers seized 3,000 cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes on a Singapore-registered bus after it was stopped for checks.

The bus was driven by a 50-year-old Singaporean male who had attempted to hide the cigarettes in various modified compartments located in the luggage compartment, chassis and staircase of the emergency exit.

The second incident occurred on Saturday (Jan 30) at about 11.15am. The contraband cigarettes were found on a Malaysia-registered lorry.

The lorry, driven by a 24-year-old Malaysian male, had attempted to pass them off as consignments of chocolates. However, officers observed anomalies in its scanned images.

After further checks by ICA officers, 650 cartons and another 100 loose packets of contraband cigarettes were seized from the undercarriage of the lorry.

In a statement released on Monday (Feb 1), ICA said that the total duty and Goods and Services Tax evaded by the two cases were $288,670 and $27,410 respectively.

Both drivers, the contraband cigarettes as well as the vehicles used were handed over to Singapore Customs for investigations.

The ICA also said that the vehicles used for such smuggling offences were liable to the forfeited.

Earlier in the year, more than 3,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized at Jurong Port Main Gate on Jan 20 by ICA officers.