Chewing tobacco & contraband cigarettes seized at Woodlands Checkpoint

PHOTO: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

SINGAPORE - Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers have stopped two separate attempts by smugglers to bring in duty-unpaid chewing tobacco and cigarettes through the Woodlands Checkpoint between July 8 and 10.

The first case involved chewing tobacco in a bus luggage compartment.

According to a statement issued by the ICA, a Malaysia-registered bus driven by a 40-year-old Malaysian man was sent for further checks by ICA officers upon arrival at the Woodlands Checkpoint on July 8 at about 6.40pm.

The officers uncovered a total of 6,330 sachets of chewing tobacco tightly rolled and concealed inside six covered plastic pails in the luggage compartment of the bus.

The customs duty and Goods and Services Tax for the duty-unpaid chewing tobacco amounted to about $28,000 and $1,900 respectively.

In the second case, contraband cigarettes were found in various parts of a lorry.

On July 10 at about 2am, ICA officers conducted a routine inspection on a Malaysia-registered lorry upon arrival at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

The lorry, driven by a 29-year-old Malaysian man, was carrying consignments declared to contain 1,200 cartons of bottled drinking water, ICA said.

During the course of checks, the officers found contraband cigarettes in sealed packages in between the consignment and in the tool box compartment of the lorry. A total of 1,827 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were uncovered.

The potential customs duty and GST for the contraband cigarettes amounted to about $164,000 and $15,000 respectively.

In both cases, the drivers, seized exhibits and vehicles were handed over to the Singapore Customs for further investigations. The vehicles used in the cases are liable to be forfeited.