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2 arrested, more than 1,600 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized in Singapore Customs operation

2 arrested, more than 1,600 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized in Singapore Customs operation

Duty-unpaid cigarettes wrapped in black trash bags found in the van. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

SINGAPORE: Two men were arrested in an operation on Wednesday (Feb 23), during which more than 1,600 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

The operation took place around Marsiling Crescent Heavy Vehicle Park, Singapore Customs said in a news release on Saturday.

“Singapore Customs officers spotted two men transferring goods covered in black trash bags from a Singapore-registered truck to a Singapore-registered van,” it said.

Officers suspected that the men were dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes and moved in.

They found 1,636 cartons and 80 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes. A follow-up search at one of the men’s residence led to the seizure of another carton and six packets of such cigarettes.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes wrapped in black trash bags found in the truck. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

Both men, Chinese nationals aged 32 and 42, were arrested. The vehicles were also seized.

“The total duty and Goods and Services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$140,390 and S$11,170 respectively,” Singapore Customs said.

Court proceedings against both men are ongoing, it added.

“Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act,” Singapore Customs said.

Offenders 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 be forfeited. 

Source: CNA/ga

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