ICA officers foil smuggling of over 13,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes in 2 cases

The contraband cigarettes were seized in two separate occasions - one at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station on March 22 and one at Tuas Checkpoint on March 26.
The contraband cigarettes were seized in two separate occasions - one at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station on March 22 and one at Tuas Checkpoint on March 26.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION AND CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) detected more than 13,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes in total while performing inspections in two cases this past week.

In the first case, which occurred at about 8.30am last Thursday (March 22) at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station, an ICA officer directed a 20-footer container for inspection.

The officer had noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the container, which had been declared to contain 1,600 pairs of safety shoes in 18 pallets.

However, officers found 10,800 cartons of contraband cigarettes in the container instead of safety shoes.

The total duty and goods and services tax (GST) evaded in this case amounted to $1,123,010 and $81,410 respectively.

The seized exhibits were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation.

The second case occurred at Tuas Checkpoint at about 2.50pm on Monday.

An ICA officer directed a Singapore-registered tour bus driven by a 57-year-old Singaporean man for routine inspection.

During the checks, ICA officers uncovered 2,999 cartons of contraband cigarettes from modified compartments within the staircase and floorboard of the bus.

The total duty and GST evaded amounted to about $294,540 and $21,410 respectively.

The driver, along with the cigarettes and bus, were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations.

Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are liable to be forfeited.