2 nabbed after 2,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized by S'pore Customs
A Singaporean and a Chinese national were arrested last Friday for allegedly evading duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) amounting to some $231,730.
Singapore Customs seized 2,165 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in two operations in Jalan Boon Lay and Senang Crescent in Kembangan.
During the Jalan Boon Lay operation, Singapore Customs officers saw the 47-year-old Singaporean man opening the side compartment of a van in a carpark with the 27-year-old Chinese national man standing next to it.
The officers found 700 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van, with another 15 cartons and $4,000 in cash found in the possession of the younger man. Both men were arrested.
Investigations revealed that the Singaporean had been allegedly engaged to collect duty-unpaid cigarettes from an industrial unit in Senang Crescent.
He was to have delivered them to the younger man, who was allegedly engaged to deliver the cigarettes.
In a follow-up operation conducted at the industrial unit, another 1,450 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were found by Singapore Customs officers.
The van and cash suspected of being linked to transactions involving the cigarettes were seized.
The duty and GST evaded by the two men amount to about $212,600 and $19,130, respectively. Court proceedings are ongoing.
Those found guilty of buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, be jailed up to six years, or both.
Vehicles used to commit these offences and the proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes can also be seized, said Singapore Customs.
Individuals who have information on smuggling activities can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to report these illegal activities.