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A Singaporean man was sentenced by the State Courts on 4 September 2018 to two weeks’ imprisonment for resisting arrest by Singapore Customs officers and was also fined $1,000 for storing duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Singapore Customs (SC) in its press release, stated that Hizman Bin Amran, 23, had pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally offering resistance against lawful apprehension and another charge of storing duty-unpaid cigarettes. While another three charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.

According to the authority, Singapore Customs officers conducted an operation in Punggol Walk on the evening of 12 May 2018. They spotted Hizman smoking a cigarette which was suspected to be duty-unpaid. The officers identified themselves by showing their warrant cards and requested to check on the cigarette which he was smoking. Hizman refused to cooperate and walked away.

When one of the officers requested Hizman to produce his identification card, he pushed the officer, causing him to fall backwards. Hizman then attempted to flee. The officers gave chase and eventually arrested Hizman. During the arrest process, Hizman struggled violently and uttered profanities at the officers.

After Hizman was arrested, one packet of duty-unpaid cigarettes was found in his bag. Singapore Customs officers subsequently conducted a follow-up search of Hizman’s HDB flat and found another six packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

“Members of the public are advised to cooperate with Singapore Customs officers when they are approached for checks during our operations,” said Mr Yeo Ban Meng, Head of Suppression and Community Engagement Branch, Singapore Customs.

“Singapore Customs takes a serious view on members of the public who abuse or obstruct our officers when they are carrying out their official duties. Firm action, including prosecution, will be taken against such offenders,” he added.

SC strated that any person who assaults, abuses or obstructs a customs officer in the execution of his duty, or intentionally resists lawful apprehension can be fined up to $20,000 and jailed up to three years.

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act. Offenders will be severely dealt with. They can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.

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