Man caught at Changi Airport with duty-unpaid tobacco disguised as tea leaves

green and white leafed plantsSINGAPORE: A 58-year-old man was caught trying to smuggle in 79 packets of duty-unpaid loose tobacco disguised as Chinese tea leaves at Changi Airport on Wednesday (Jun 26).

The Chinese national was referred for further checks when he arrived at Terminal 2 after an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) sensed “something amiss”, said the authority in a Facebook post on Friday.



“Sensing something amiss at the red green channel baggage screening, the ICA officer referred the arriving 58-year-old Chinese male national for further checks,” said ICA.

“During checks, the officer uncovered packets of duty-unpaid loose tobacco weighing a total of about 30kg, concealed in the tea leaves packaging inside his luggage.”

The case was handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations.

ICA said it would continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles to prevent attempts to smuggle “undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives or other contrabands”.



“The same methods of concealment used by smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore,” said the authority.

Last Friday, the authority seized more than 389 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in two cases at Woodlands Checkpoint.

The cigarettes were hidden in various modified compartments in the arriving Singapore-registered cars.

Two Singaporean men, aged 30 and 44, were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation after the cigarettes were found.

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