Malaysian driver found with 5,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes at Tuas Checkpoint

Truck used in the smuggling of duty-unpaid cigarettes.
Truck used in the smuggling of duty-unpaid cigarettes. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Duty-unpaid cigarettes found concealed within the consignment declared as air conditioners.
Duty-unpaid cigarettes found concealed within the consignment declared as air conditioners.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
A total of 5,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.
A total of 5,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
A total of 5,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.
A total of 5,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized. PHOTO: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - A 38-year-old Malaysian man was found with 5,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes worth more than $450,000 in evaded duty and Goods and Services Tax at Tuas Checkpoint past midnight on Friday (May 26).

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers directed the man, who was driving a Malaysia-registered truck, for further checks after noticing anomalies in scanned images of the truck.

It had declared its consignment as containing air-conditioners.

ICA officers found 5,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes hidden in the consignment, ICA said in a news release on Friday. The total duty and GST evaded was about $422,920 and $31,150 respectively.

The driver, along with the truck and cigarettes, were handed over to the Singapore Customs for investigations, and the vehicle can be forfeited.

ICA said in its release that it will continue to conduct its security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints, as these are critical to the nation's security.

"The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore," said ICA in its release.