Two men arrested over contraband cigarettes

The authorities arrested two men and seized more than 1,600 cartons of contraband cigarettes in an operation last Wednesday.
The authorities arrested two men and seized more than 1,600 cartons of contraband cigarettes in an operation last Wednesday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

The authorities arrested two men and seized more than 1,600 cartons of contraband cigarettes in an operation last Wednesday.

The duty and goods and services tax (GST) evaded amounted to more than $160,800.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Singapore Customs said the two men, both Bangladesh nationals, were seated in a lorry in the carpark of an industrial building in Ubi Crescent.

Checks on the lorry revealed 247 cartons and 230 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes stashed in boxes and plastic bags.

A further 1,405 cartons and 802 packets of illegal cigarettes were found in a subsequent raid on a storage unit at an industrial building in Eunos Avenue 3. The unit had been rented by one of the men.

Both the cigarettes and the lorry were seized.

One of the men was charged in the State Courts with dealing in duty-unpaid cigarettes last Friday, while investigations are ongoing in the other man's case.

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.

Tee Zhuo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2018, with the headline 'Two men arrested over contraband cigarettes'. Print Edition | Subscribe