4,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized in 3 smuggling attempts

4,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized in 3 smuggling attempts
(Clockwise from top left) Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officers found cartons of contraband cigarettes hidden in cabinets and tables, in three pallets of paintings, drawings and pastels and in soundproof panels.
PHOTO: Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

SINGAPORE - A total of 4,098 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized in the past week after three separate attempts to smuggle them into Singapore were thwarted.

The three cases took place within a span of five days at Jurong Port Main Gate, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement today.

On Dec 18, ICA officers found 1,648 cartons of contraband cigarettes hidden in the bases and side walls of cabinets and tables that were being carried on a lorry. The driver was a 48-year-old Singaporean man.

Four days later, 900 cartons of contraband cigarettes were recovered from another lorry driven by a 53-year-old Singaporean man. They were hidden in hollow spaces of three pallets of paintings, drawings and pastels.

The next day, a lorry driven by a 39-year-old Singaporean man transporting a declared consignment of soundproof panels was directed for checks. Upon opening the panels, ICA officers uncovered 1,550 cartons of contraband cigarettes.

The potential duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded for the three cases amounted to about $390,080 and $35,110 respectively, the ICA said.

The drivers, vehicles and contraband cigarettes were handed over to Singapore Customs for investigations. The vehicles may be forfeited if they are found to have been used for smuggling.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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