12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized (Photo: Singapore Customs).

12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized in the largest haul of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the last five years

A total of 12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized at Tuas Checkpoint on 27 July 2019, at about 9.05 am in the largest haul of duty-unpaid cigarettes uncovered by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in the last five years.

ICA said in a press release on Monday (19 August) that its officers conducted checks on an arriving Malaysia-registered lorry at the over-sized lorry lane and found that it was carrying a consignment 16 concrete blocks.

The Malaysia-registered lorry carrying a consignment of concrete blocks (Photo: ICA).

During the course of checks, ICA said that its officers’ suspicions were aroused when they noticed anomalies in the concrete blocks.

ICA officers drilled a hole into the first concrete block (Photo: ICA).

The officers then drilled holes into the concrete blocks and uncovered duty-unpaid cigarettes encased within.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found within the concrete block (Photo: ICA).

According to the authority, the 25-year-old male Malaysian driver was immediately placed under arrest and the case was handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation.

A total of 12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were retrieved from the concrete blocks. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $1,240,430 and $90,590 respectively.

12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized (Photo: Singapore Customs).

Investigations are still ongoing.