SINGAPORE - A total of 1,850 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized in two related cases by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Singapore Customs, the authorities said in a joint press statement on Wednesday (Aug 8).
ICA officers had seized 1,300 cartons of contraband cigarettes from a Singapore-registered lorry at Jurong Port Main Gate last Saturday, before Singapore Customs officers uncovered another 550 cartons of such cigarettes in a follow-up operation on Monday.
A 49-year-old Singaporean man was also arrested in the operation, and the investigation is ongoing.
The total duty and goods and services tax evaded in the two cases amounted to about $183,250 and $13,320 respectively.
ICA officers had directed the lorry for further checks last Saturday after officers noticed anomalies in the scanned images of a consignment declared as machinery parts and notice boards.
Officers then found the 1,300 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes inside the hollowed-out stack of notice board frames, and handed the case to Singapore Customs for further investigation.
Officers from the Singapore Customs subsequently conducted the follow-up operation two days later, in which they raided a unit in a self-storage facility in Defu Lane 10 and found the second batch of cigarettes.
Those found guilty of buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods can be charged under the Customs Act and the GST Act.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and jailed for up to six years. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.