Singapore Customs has seized more than 2,900 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes, from a farm in Sungei Tengah Road and a commercial building in Soon Lee Street, during an earlier operation on 2 June.
Officers from Singapore Customs were keeping a close watch on the farm in Sungei Tengah Road that morning when they spotted a van parked inside the farm, which was filled with brown boxes in the trunk, and saw a man exiting from a unit in the farm.
The officers moved in to check and found duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van. The officers then raided the unit in the farm and found more duty-unpaid cigarettes.
A total of 2,776 cartons, 345 packets and 43 sticks of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized from the unit and the van. The man was arrested and the van was seized.
Singapore Customs conducted a follow-up raid in a commercial building in Soon Lee Street in the same morning. In a unit of the building, the officers found another 150 cartons and 25 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.
A total of 2,926 cartons, 370 packets and 43 sticks of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized in these operations at the farm and the commercial building. The total amount of duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved amounted to about $246,320 and $18,160 respectively.
A 57-year-old Singaporean man was charged in the State Courts on 3 June 2017 for storing duty-unpaid cigarettes. Court proceedings are ongoing.
Singapore Customs stressed, buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act. 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.
Singapore Customs urged members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST to call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000, inform by email, or use [email protected] mobile app – which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play – to report these illegal activities.