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Man caught selling contraband cigarettes at Lavender arrested again one week later

Man caught selling contraband cigarettes at Lavender arrested again one week later
A Lianhe Zaobao reporter witnessed the buyer in striped pants handing over the money to the seller and then walking a short distance away to collect the goods.
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

A man assisting in ongoing investigations over the sale of contraband cigarettes was arrested again in another raid.

According to Lianhe Zaobao, three plainclothes officers arrested the man in a raid along French Road in Lavender, on Wednesday (Oct 18) morning.

The arrest comes one week after a previous raid was carried out in the same area on Oct 11.

According to a Zaobao reader, the illicit sale of cigarettes along French Road had momentarily ceased after last week's raid, but resumed shortly afterwards.

Responding to queries by the Chinese daily, a Singapore Customs spokesperson confirmed the arrest of a Singaporean man who was selling duty-unpaid cigarettes, adding that they seized four packs of tax-unpaid cigarettes in Wednesday's raid. Investigations are ongoing.

The spokesperson also told Zaobao that the man arrested on Wednesday is the same man arrested in the prior raid.

Last Sunday, Zaobao received a tip-off alerting them to the sales of contraband cigarettes by a group of six or seven men along French Road.

These men would sell duty-unpaid cigarettes in secluded spaces around the nearby HDB estates and coffee shops every morning from 7am to 10am.

The contraband cigarettes would be bundled in packs of fives and concealed in plastic bags. The men would then hide the bags in their pockets and secretly peddle them to their regular customers.

Officers from the Singapore Customs launched a raid in the area on Oct 11 and seized 53 cartons and 46 packs of duty-unpaid cigarettes. They also requested that a Singaporean man assist them with investigations.

According to Singapore Customs, the buying, selling, conveying, delivering or storing duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and GST Act.

Those found guilty of doing so can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed for up to six years, or both. Vehicles used in such offences may also be forfeited.

ALSO READ: Man caught smuggling contraband cigarettes for the fourth time jailed 3½ years, fined $10m

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