Singapore Customs arrests four men in connection to 1,390 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized in operation at Tuas Bay Close

Duty-unpaid cigarettes seized from the tipper truck and warehouse unit (Source: Singapore Customs).

Four men were arrested and 1,390 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized during an operation in an industrial building in Tuas Bay Close earlier on 27 August 2019.

Singapore Customs revealed in a press release on Tuesday (3 September) that its officers had noticed a Malaysia-registered tipper truck parked in a warehouse unit during the operation, which was suspected to be used to convey duty-unpaid cigarettes and checked the tipper truck and warehouse unit.

Source: Singapore Customs.

The officers uncovered and seized 768 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the hidden compartments under the cargo floorboard of the tipper truck and 622 cartons
of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the warehouse unit. 

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found in the warehouse unit (Source: Singapore Customs).
Modified compartment in the tipper truck for concealing duty-unpaid cigarettes (Source: Singapore Customs).

The 37-year-old Malaysian tipper truck driver was arrested. Three Singaporean men, aged between 41 and 67, were also arrested in connection with the duty-unpaid cigarettes on the same day.

According to the authority, a total of 1,390 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized. The duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $118,700 and $8,750 respectively.

The authority noted that the tipper truck and cash amounting to SGD$13,952.50, RM$1,935, USD$100 and BND$100 were also seized.

The Malaysian man and one of the arrested Singaporean men were charged in court on 29 Aug 2019 while investigations are ongoing for the remaining two Singaporean men.

The authority 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. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences and proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes are also liable to be forfeited.

The authority also encourages members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST to call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000, 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.

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