10 arrested after contraband cigarettes found in metal oven, air purifier and wooden shelves

10 arrested after contraband cigarettes found in metal oven, air purifier and wooden shelves

Duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in a metal oven
Duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in a metal oven. (Photos: Singapore Customs)

SINGAPORE: Ten people were arrested and more than 2,600 cartons of contraband cigarettes were seized in several operations across the island last week, the Singapore Customs said on Friday (Oct 16).

In two of the operations, the authorities raided two Housing Board flats at King George’s Avenue and Serangoon North Avenue 4 that were used for storage and peddling of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Two Singaporean men and a male Chinese national were arrested. Authorities also confiscated 639 cartons and 20 packets of contraband cigarettes.

READ: More than 7,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes found in lorries at Tuas Checkpoint

Contraband cigarettes Oct 16, 2020
Contraband cigarettes seized from two Housing Board units. (Photos: Singapore Customs)

In three other operations conducted at Kang Ching Road in Jurong West, Eunos Industrial Park and Realty Park in Hougang, Singapore Customs officers foiled attempts made to retrieve shipments of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The cigarettes were concealed in places such as a metal oven, wooden shelves and an air purifier unit. Two male Chinese nationals and a Singaporean woman were arrested, and 1,596 cartons and 5,942 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

READ: 8 arrested for smuggling contraband cigarettes into Singapore on tugboat

Duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in wooden shelve
Duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in wooden shelves. (Photos: Singapore Customs)

Four Singaporeans were arrested at two other raids at Yishun Ring Road and Jurong West Street 93. 

The three men and one woman were apprehended for storing and delivering duty-unpaid cigarettes. Singapore Customs officers also confiscated 369 cartons and 908 packets of cigarettes.

Court proceedings against four of the men and one of the women are ongoing. Investigations are ongoing for the remaining four men and one woman.

READ: More than 2,700 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized from vans in Woodlands and Simei

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found concealed in an air purifier unit
Duty-unpaid cigarettes found concealed in an air purifier unit that was sent to Realty Park. (Photos: Singapore Customs)

In all, a total of 2,604 cartons and 6,870 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes and a vehicle were seized during the operations, which took place from Oct 5 to Oct 9.

The duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$293,700 and S$23,590 respectively.

"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," said Singapore Customs in a media release.

READ: 5 arrested, more than 1,100 cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes and drugs seized

A vehicle used to storage and deliver duty-unpaid cigarettes
A vehicle used to storage and deliver duty-unpaid cigarettes at Yishun Ring Road. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

Those found guilty can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.

Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline at 1800-2330000 or use the Customs@SG mobile app to make a report.

Source: CNA/zl

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