SINGAPORE: A 33-year-old Chinese national has been arrested and 2,300 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized at a back lane in Tuas, the Singapore Customs said on Wednesday (Feb 3).
During the operation on Jan 29, Customs officers saw the man walking towards a van parked at the back lane between Tuas South Street 1 and Tuas South Street 3.
Officers suspected that there were contraband cigarettes inside the Singapore-registered van.
As the man unlocked the door of the van, the officers moved in and found boxes labelled as “dried noodles” containing duty-unpaid cigarettes in the vehicle, said Singapore Customs.
Investigations found that the man was engaged by an unknown person to deliver the cigarettes to buyers.
The duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to S$196,420 and S$15,900 respectively. The van was also seized.
Court proceedings against the man are ongoing.
Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods is illegal under the Customs Act and the GST Act.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed up to six years, or both. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences and proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes may also be forfeited.
Members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can customs_intelligence [at] customs.gov.sg (email) or call the Singapore Customs at 1800 2330 000.