87 travellers caught for failing to declare cas, pay taxes , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

87 travellers caught for failing to declare cas, pay taxes

A total of 87 travellers were caught at the Changi Airport for carrying undeclared cash of more than $20,000 or failing to pay taxes on cigarettes, liquor and other items after a week-long joint enforcement operation in June.

During the multi-agency operation, which took place from June 17 to 23, more than 10,000 travellers were identified for checks and more than 18,000 luggage and hand-carry bags were scanned or searched at the airport’s four terminals, the authorities said in a joint statement.

It added that the operation involved officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Customs (Customs), National Parks Board and Health Sciences Authority.

This was part of the authorities’ efforts to clamp down on non-compliance with Singapore’s Cross-Border Cash Reporting Regime (CBCRR) and other illegal cross-border activities.

On June 20, two male Singaporeans and a female foreign traveller, aged between 31 and 50, were separately detected bringing undeclared cash of various currencies totalling between $30,000 and $35,000 into Singapore.

On June 22, four male foreign travellers, aged between 37 and 61, were separately caught for moving cash of various currencies totalling between $24,000 and $109,000 into Singapore without declaration.

The next day, three male foreign travellers, aged between 60 and 71, were separately found carrying undeclared cash of various currencies totalling between $22,000 and $28,000 into Singapore.

Of these 10 travellers caught, two were issued warning and six were fined $23,000 in all.

Investigations into the two travellers who carried undeclared money of various currencies exceeding a total of $140,000 into Singapore are ongoing.

“SPF oversees the CBCRR to curb money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities,” said the authorities, adding that enhanced penalties have been in effect since May 13 to strengthen deterrence.

Anyone found guilty of failing to report or accurately report the movement of Cash or Bearer Negotiable Instruments (CBNI) exceeding $20,000 – or its equivalent in foreign currency – can be fined $50,000, jailed up to three years, or both.

The undeclared cash may also be confiscated.

Travellers are reminded to submit an electronic declaration up to 72 hours before entering or leaving Singapore through the MyICA mobile app or the ICA website.

The joint operation also caught 77 travellers for Customs offences of failing to declare and pay taxes on dutiable cigarettes or tobacco products, liquors exceeding their duty-free allowance, as well as new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food items exceeding their goods and services tax (GST) import relief allowance.

The total amount of duty and GST involved was more than $11,000, and the total penalty imposed was more than $17,000, the statement said.

A luxury watch and handbag were among the undeclared items.

The largest undeclared cigarette case involved 800 sticks of cigarettes, followed by another case with 500 sticks.

These cigarettes were seized and disposed of at the airport as they did not comply with Singapore’s standardised packaging requirements, a measure that has been in place since July 2020.

Those convicted of being involved in fraudulent evasion or attempting to fraudulently evade any customs duty or excise duty can be fined up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, or jailed up to two years.

“It is the responsibility of arriving travellers to make accurate and complete declarations of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession,” the statement said.

“To avoid the hefty penalties and for their own convenience, foreign travellers and local residents are strongly encouraged to make an advance declaration and payment for their dutiable or GST goods up to three days prior to their arrival in Singapore, using the Customs@SG web application.”