26,714 cartons and 840 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized and 13 men were arrested in five separate locations on 18 and 19 September 2019.
In a press release on Friday (27 September), Singapore Customs (SC) stated that in the afternoon of 18 September 2019, Singapore Customs officers conducted checks
on two Singapore-registered bonded trucks at the vicinity of Choa Chu Kang Avenue
2 and 3, and uncovered brown boxes containing duty-unpaid cigarettes in the two
Three Malaysian men, aged between 31 and 36, were arrested for dealing with
duty-unpaid cigarettes and 2,142 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.
Later that evening, its officers raided a warehouse unit in Bukit Batok Crescent and detected four men retrieving duty-unpaid cigarettes from pallets of cartons boxes in the unit.
The four men, one Malaysian and three Indonesians, aged between 20 and 40, were arrested and 12,513 cartons and 840 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized, the authority stated.
In the morning of 19 September 2019, Singapore Customs officers raided a warehouse unit in Gambas Crescent and arrested six Singaporean men, aged between 25 and 26, for dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes.
Two Singapore-registered bonded trucks and 10,631 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes found in the two trucks, were seized.
On the same evening, Singapore Customs officers detected another Singapore registered bonded truck at a carpark in Woodlands Street 13 containing 1,428 cartons
of duty-unpaid cigarettes. The duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.
A total of 26,714 cartons and 840 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized in the
two days. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $2,389,280 and $175,660 respectively.
According to the authority, of the 13 men arrested, eight had been charged in Court while investigations are ongoing for the remaining five men.
Singapore Customs 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 are also liable to be forfeited, it noted.