ICA seizes over 12,000 cartons of cigarettes hidden in concrete
In its largest haul of duty- unpaid cigarettes in the last five years, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) seized 12,479 cartons of such goods encased in concrete blocks, it said in a press release yesterday.
At 9.05am on July 27, ICA officers conducted checks on a Malaysia-registered lorry arriving at the oversized lorry lane at Tuas Checkpoint. It was carrying 16 concrete blocks.
During the checks, officers became suspicious after noticing anomalies in the blocks. They drilled holes into the blocks and uncovered duty- unpaid cigarettes encased within.
The male Malaysian driver, 25, was arrested immediately, and the case was handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation, said ICA.
The total duty and goods and services tax evaded on the goods amounted to about $1,240,430 and $90,590, respectively. Investigations are still ongoing.
In the press release, ICA said: "The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore."
It said: "ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, cargo and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands across our borders." - DANIEL BURGESS