Singapore Customs seize largest haul of duty-unpaid cigarettes since April 2015

Singapore Customs seize largest haul of duty-unpaid cigarettes since April 2015
Singapore Customs officers seized 25,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in two days, its largest haul since April 2015.
PHOTO: Singapore Customs

In just two days, the Singapore Customs has seized 25,500 cartons worth of duty-unpaid cigarettes from two operations conducted this month.

This is the largest seizure of duty-unpaid cigarettes since April 2016, said the Singapore Customs in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 25).

The first operation on Jan 17 was conducted at a logistics company in Jurong Port Road. Singapore Customs officers seized 4,900 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in brown boxes within the premises.

A Singaporean man and woman, aged 59 and 54 respectively, as well as a 37-year-old Malaysian man were arrested.

Further investigations into this case led to the second operation that took place on Jan 23.

In this operation, Singapore Customs officers seized 20,600 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes that were stored in two containers.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved  in these two operations amounted to about $2,305,500 and $219,330 respectively.

Investigations are ongoing.

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act. Anyone caught for these crimes will be dealt with severely and can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST, jailed for up to six years or both.

Repeat offenders who are caught with more than two kilograms of tobacco products will also face mandatory imprisonment, according to Singapore Customs. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences may also be forfeited.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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