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A total of 3,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized (Source: ICA).

3,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized at Tuas Checkpoint

In a press release on Thursday (27 September), The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) revealed that 3,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the consignment were uncovered at Tuas checkpoint.

ICA shared that its officer had directed an arriving Malaysia-registered refrigerated lorry, driven by a 37-year-old Malaysian man, for further checks at Tuas checkpoint, who was accompanied by a 25-year-old Malaysian man on 26 September 2018 at about 5.30 am.

According to the authority, its officer had noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the lorry which was conveying a consignment declared to be frozen food. During the course of checks, ICA officers uncovered the cigarettes and handed over the case to Singapore Customs for further investigation.

The vehicle used in the commission of such offences is liable to be forfeited, it added.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found concealed in the consignment declared to be frozen food (Source: ICA).

ICA stated that the total duty and Goods and Services Tax evaded amounted to about S$298,900 and S$21,900 respectively.

"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. The security checks are critical to our nation’s security," the authority stressed.

ICA stressed that it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands. The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore.