25,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes was seized by Singapore Customs (SC) from two related operations conducted on 17 and 23 January 2017, noting that this is the largest seizure of duty-unpaid cigarettes since April 2015.
On 17 January 2017, SC said that it conducted an operation at a logistics company in Jurong Port Road, where its officers seized 4,900 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in brown boxes on the premises. A Singaporean man, 59, and woman, 54, and a Malaysian man, 37, were arrested.
SC stated that further investigations into this case led to another operation on 23 January 2017.
In this operation, SC officers then seized 20,600 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes stored in two containers parked in a vehicle yard in Pioneer Sector 3.
SC stated that the total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved in these two operations amounted to about $2,305,500 and $219,330 respectively.
It said that investigations are ongoing.
SC alerted members of the public that 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. Offenders will be severely dealt with.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years. Repeat offenders who are caught with more than two kilogrammes of tobacco products will also face mandatory imprisonment.
“Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited,” it added.