Singapore Customs arrested a 31-year-old Malaysian man and seized a total of 3,644 cartons and 80 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation on Nov. 3, 2022.
Singapore Customs officers checked a van loaded with brown boxes and uncovered 1,112 cartons and 80 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation conducted in the vicinity of Sembawang Crescent.
The driver of the van was placed under arrest.
Officers conducted a search on the driver and found another set of keys to a second van that was parked in a nearby multi-storey carpark.
A follow-up search of the second van and the man’s residence led to a seizure of another 2,500 cartons and 32 cartons
of duty-unpaid cigarettes respectively.
A total of 12 cartons of heat-not-burn tobacco products were also found in the second van and the matter was referred to the Health Sciences Authority for further investigation.
Investigations revealed the man was allegedly engaged by an unknown person via a social messaging platform to use the two vans to collect, store and deliver duty-unpaid cigarettes.
All the duty-unpaid cigarettes and two vehicles were seized in the operation.
The total duty and Goods and Services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$369,260 and S$28,650 respectively.
Investigations are ongoing.
Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing 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.
Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email customs_[email protected] to report these illegal activities.
Photos via Singapore Customs