Repeat offender arrested after more than 1,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized

Customs officers found 1,586 cartons and 18 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

SINGAPORE - A man was arrested after the authorities seized more than 1,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from a construction site.

The man, 66, who has an ongoing court case against him for a similar offence, was spotted at the scene by Customs officers, the Singapore Customs said in a statement on Wednesday (May 11).

Officers were observing a construction site near 24 Senoko Drive on Monday where a suspicious consignment of goods was delivered earlier.

The man later arrived to receive the consignment.

Officers conducted a check and found 1,586 cartons and 18 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed inside two electrical panels.

About $135,500 in duty and $10,700 in goods and services tax (GST) were evaded in total.

The case is under investigation.

Singapore Customs said the man, a repeat offender, is currently facing court proceedings for allegedly dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes on Dec 1, 2020. He is said to have evaded about $36,800 in duty and $3,000 in GST.

The man was also convicted on July 28, 2011, for possession of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found concealed inside electrical panels in the vicinity of No. 24 Senoko Drive. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

For buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods, offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed for up to six years, or both.

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

Those with information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000 or e-mail customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg to report these illegal activities.

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