More than 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes found in tour bus at Tuas Checkpoint

The cigarettes and the bus were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations, along with the driver. PHOTOS: IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - More than 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes were found hidden in a Singapore-registered tour bus arriving at Tuas Checkpoint on Wednesday (Feb 7), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement on Friday.

ICA officers had directed the bus, driven by a 57-year-old Singaporean man, for further checks at the checkpoint at about 1pm.

Inspections uncovered 1,057 cartons and 10 packets of contraband cigarettes concealed within modified compartments behind the driver seat, floor board and undercarriage of the bus.

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

The evaded duty and goods and services tax of the contraband cigarettes amounted to about $82,100 and $6,040 respectively.

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

ICA said Singapore's borders are its first line of defence in safeguarding the country's security, and security checks are critical in doing so.

It said it would continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable people, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband goods.

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.

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