Busting yet another attempt at smuggling in duty-unpaid cigarettes, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) found 32 packets of cigarette boxes hidden in four loaves of bread on the morning of 8 December.
ICA officers saw a traveller at the Arrival Bus Hall carrying four loaves of bread and behaving suspiciously, which prompted them to conduct further checks on him. That’s when they found the cigarette boxes in between slices of bread.
The case, involving a 52-year-old Malaysian man, was then referred to Singapore Customs for further investigation, said ICA in a Facebook post on 11 December.
ICA added, “This method of concealment is a cause for concern as similar methods may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore.”
People are getting more and more creative in their attempts to smuggle in cigarettes. In August this year, ICA found 1,127 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed inside the tyres of vehicles in two separate cases in 19 and 21 August at the Woodlands Checkpoint.
On 29 August, a total of 5,599 cartons and 9 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were discovered hidden in boxes and concealed in the cargo of fibre sponge mattresses at Tuas Checkpoint.
In July, a 39-year old Indonesian woman was arrested after the Singapore Cruise Centre uncovered 109 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes which she smuggled in via her hand-carried baggage.
And in January, 17 men aged between 22 and 48 were arrested by the Police Coast Guard (PCG) for their suspected involvement in smuggling 3,740 cartons and 448 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded, in this case, amounted to about $396,200 and $28,820 respectively.