Teen who drove van carrying contraband cigarettes arrested, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Teen who drove van carrying contraband cigarettes arrested

A 17-year-old Singaporean youth was arrested after an operation by Singapore Customs, which resulted in 3,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes being seized.

The total duty and goods and services tax evaded amounted to $425,390, said the agency on Friday.

The teen was arrested last Friday in Yishun Street 42, where Customs officers observed him alighting from the van he drove and waiting at the passenger side.

Another man was then seen approaching the van, before officers moved in.

They found 1,580 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes, as well as cash amounting to $5,857 – suspected to be earnings from the sale of the contraband.

The teen was arrested and referred to the Traffic Police for driving without a licence. The second man is assisting in investigations.

A subsequent operation in Yishun Avenue 1 on the same day netted an additional 1,920 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes. These were found in an unmanned van, with Customs officers seizing the cartons as well as the van.

Investigations are ongoing.

“Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act,” the statement said.

Those found guilty can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed up to six years, or both.

Vehicles used to commit such offences, as well as the proceeds made from such illegal sales may also be forfeited.

Those who have information on such activities can send an e-mail to customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg