17 men, aged between 22 and 48, were arrested by the Police Coast Guard (PCG) and Singapore Customs for their suspected involvement in smuggling duty-unpaid cigarettes.
The authorities conducted a joint operation conducted on 26 January 2019, in which 14 Indonesians and three Singaporeans were arrested at Sungei Jurong.
The authorities stated that a total of 3,740 cartons and 448 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes; two foreign registered supply vessels and two Singapore registered vehicles were seized as case exhibits.
The police said that Singapore Customs is handling the investigation. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $396,200 and $28,820 respectively.
Commander of the PCG, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Cheang Keng Keong commended the officers for their excellent team work which resulted in the swift arrest.
He added that the authorities will spare no efforts and will continue to take firm action against such offenders.
The authorities stressed 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 can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years and vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.
Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000, email [email protected] or use [email protected] mobile app (which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play) to report these illegal activities.