$533,000 worth of contraband cigarettes seized at Tuas Checkpoint

$533,000 worth of contraband cigarettes seized at Tuas Checkpoint

SINGAPORE - Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the Tuas Checkpoint on Wednesday seized 5,000 cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes worth up to $533,000, making this the single largest detection of contraband cigarettes at Tuas this year. 

ICA said in a statement on Friday that a 32-year-old Malaysian male, who was travelling alone, arrived at Tuas Checkpoint for routine checks. He was driving a Malaysia-registered lorry declared to be transporting consignments of garments and thermal paper.

Upon inspection, ICA officers noticed there were some unlabelled boxes placed in between the consignments. After further inspection, they discovered that these boxes contained cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes within the boxes.

Subsequently, they found more contraband cigarettes packed in boxes stacked in 5 different pallets among the cargo.

The 5,000 cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes had a potential customs duty value and GST of $388,000 and $37,310 respectively.

In a similar incident, a 29-year-old male Malaysian driver was found with 2,999 cartons of contraband cigarettes consealed within a consignment of vegetables in the driver's lorry at Woodlands Checkpoint on Thursday. 

ICA believes the estimated value of this haul is worth about $319,700.

In both cases, the men, the contraband and lorries were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are liable to be forfeited.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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