SINGAPORE: Four men were arrested and 1,390 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized during an operation in an industrial building in Tuas, Singapore Customs said in a statement released on Monday (Sep 2).
During the operation at Tuas Bay Close last Tuesday, officers noticed a Malaysia-registered tipper truck, which was suspected to be used to transport duty-unpaid cigarettes, parked in a warehouse unit.
Officers found 768 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments under the cargo floorboard of the truck and 622 cartons in the warehouse unit.
The Malaysia-registered tipper truck used to convey duty unpaid cigarettes parked in the warehouse unit. (Photo: Singapore Customs)
Singapore Customs said that the duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$118,700 and S$8,750 respectively.
Cash of various currencies amounting to more than S$14,000 was also seized by the officers during the operation, it added.
Four men, a 37-year-old Malaysian driver and three Singaporeans aged between 41 and 67, were arrested, Singapore Customs said, adding that the Malaysian man and one of the Singaporeans were charged in court on Aug 29.
Investigations are ongoing for the remaining two Singaporean men.
Singapore Customs officers found 622 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the warehouse unit. (Photo: Singapore Customs)
Singapore Customs seized 1,390 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes during an operation in an industrial building in Tuas Bay Close on Aug 27, 2019. (Photo: Singapore Customs)
“Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act,” Singapore Customs said.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences and proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes are also liable to be forfeited.
Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use Customs@SG mobile app to report these illegal activities.