Malaysian man caught smuggling 2,190 cartons of cigarettes in modified prime mover

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found within the modified compartment at the base of the fuel bowser.
Duty-unpaid cigarettes found within the modified compartment at the base of the fuel bowser.PHOTO: ICA
Empty fuel bowser towed by a prime mover found with duty-unpaid cigarettes.
Empty fuel bowser towed by a prime mover found with duty-unpaid cigarettes.PHOTO: ICA
Duty-unpaid cigarettes seized.
Duty-unpaid cigarettes seized.PHOTO: ICA

SINGAPORE - A 39-year-old Malaysian man who tried to smuggle more than 2,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes into Singapore in a modified prime mover was caught at Tuas Checkpoint on Friday (Oct 13) night.

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers had directed the man, who was alone in his Malaysia-registered prime mover, for further checks at about 9.45pm.

They noticed anomalies in the scanned image of the empty fuel bowser or tanker that the prime mover towed.

Inspections revealed 2,190 cartons and 202 packets of contraband cigarettes, concealed in a modified compartment at the base of the fuel bowser.

The unpaid duty and Goods and Services Tax of the cigarettes amounted to about $171,500 and $12,710 respectively.

The man, his vehicle and the contraband cigarettes were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations.

ICA in its statement on Monday said it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at checkpoints to prevent smuggling attempts.

"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.