3 men arrested for evading over $530k in taxes and duties on cigarettes
Three men, aged between 19 and 23, were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly evading $539,910 in duty and goods and services tax (GST).
A total of 5,044 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were also seized in the operation, said the Singapore Customs and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a joint statement on Tuesday.
During the operation, Customs officers monitored a unit in an industrial building in Ubi Crescent that they suspected was used to store duty-unpaid cigarettes.
A man was seen entering the unit, leading officers to conduct a check.
Officers uncovered 2,040 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes packed in brown boxes and 3,004 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in sofa beds.
The man and two other men in the unit were arrested.
The total duty and GST evaded amounted to $495,321 and $44,589 respectively.
Court proceedings against the three men 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 for up to six years, or both.
“ICA will continue to conduct security checks at the checkpoints and work with relevant authorities to safeguard our land, air and sea borders against crime and security threats, including smuggling activities and non-compliance with our regulations,” said ICA and Singapore Customs.
Those with information on smuggling activities can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000 or e-mail email@example.com to report these illegal activities.