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Duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden under a modified floorboard in a car (Source : ICA)

Cigarettes smugglers seized at Woodlands Checkpoint

Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced on July 20 that a total of 3,190 cartons and 1,512 packets of cigarettes were seized at the Woodlands Checkpoints on July 19 during three separate seizures.

The total potential customs duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved amounted to about $259,280 and $26,100 respectively.

The first seizure occurred at 4.15 am. A Malaysian-registered truck was taken aside for further checks. The consignment of the lorry was declared to be 40 pieces of large wooden doors, but ICA officers discovered 2,508 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden behind 38 of these doors. The 32-year-old driver and his 23-year-old companion, both Malaysians, were arrested and the lorry was seized. They were handed to the Singapore Customs for further investigation.

The second Malaysian-registered car was trying to cross the border at 5.30 am. 439 cartons and 812 packs of cigarettes were concealed in a car and inside the driver's sling bag. The officers also found a sachet of controlled drugs hidden under the floor mat of the car.

The Malaysian driver, who is 22-year-old, was handed over to the Central Narcotics Bureau for further investigation along with the controlled drugs. The car was handed over to the Singapore Customs for further inspections.

The third discovery was made at 6.25 am. A 22-year-old lone driver brought 234 cartons and 700 packets of duty-unpaid packs of cigarettes hidden inside various parts of the vehicle from Malaysia. The man and the car were detained by the Singapore Customs.

Under the Customs Act, a first offender who smuggles more than 2 kg of tobacco products faces a fine of up to 20 times the duty or tax avoided or jail of up to three years or both.