2 men arrested, 4,150 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized by Singapore Customs, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

2 men arrested, 4,150 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized by Singapore Customs

Two men, aged 19 and 26, were arrested on Wednesday and 4,150 cartons of cigarettes for which duty and goods and services tax (GST) amounting to nearly $450,000 had not been paid were seized.

One of the men was spotted by Singapore Customs officers opening the side door of a van near Tuas Bay Close on Wednesday.

The officers then uncovered 2,072 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes following a check on the van, said the Singapore Customs in a statement on Monday.

Another man was also arrested after he was seen approaching the van. Investigations later revealed that he allegedly engaged the first man to collect the van at Tuas Bay Close to deliver the cigarettes.

An additional 2,078 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were also found during a follow-up operation involving another van that was located at Tuas Avenue 2, .

The cigarettes and vans in both operations were seized, said Singapore Customs, adding that the total unpaid GST and duty amounted to $444,216.

The agency warned that buying, selling, conveying, delivering or storing duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and GST Act.

Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed for up to six years, or both. Vehicles used in such offences are also liable to be forfeited.

Those with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000 or e-mail customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg.