Malaysian man nabbed after abandoning lorry with hidden contraband cigarettes at Woodlands Checkpoint

Malaysian national Asrul Nizam Jamil left his lorry at a cargo-checking bay at Woodlands Checkpoint on July 5, 2018.
Malaysian national Asrul Nizam Jamil left his lorry at a cargo-checking bay at Woodlands Checkpoint on July 5, 2018.PHOTO: ICA

SINGAPORE - A 31-year-old man who abandoned his lorry containing contraband cigarettes at Woodlands Checkpoint was arrested on Friday (July 6).

In response to queries, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that officers arrested Malaysian national Asrul Nizam Jamil a day after he left his lorry at a cargo-checking bay at the checkpoint.

The incident resulted in a temporary suspension of checkpoint operations early Thursday as the authorities tried to locate the driver.

Photos posted on social media platforms show a build-up of traffic at the checkpoint.

ICA said that at about 2.50am on Thursday, Asrul Nizam had cleared immigration and his lorry was going through further checks when he abandoned the vehicle.

Officers later found about 5,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes hidden in the vehicle.

In a Facebook post at about 5am on Thursday, ICA warned of delays at the checkpoint due to an ongoing operation.

It added that there would be enhanced checks and told motorists to expect delays.

In an update about 45 minutes later, ICA said that there was heavy arrival traffic at the checkpoint.

On Thursday, the authorities mounted a search for the lorry driver and issued an appeal for information about his whereabouts.

He was arrested on Friday and investigations are ongoing.

In its statement, ICA urged all travellers to comply with directions given by officers at the checkpoints.