SINGAPORE: Authorities have arrested two Singaporean men and three foreign women for alleged involvement in duty-unpaid cigarettes and drug activities.
A joint operation on Saturday (May 30) by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Singapore Customs at two locations uncovered drugs and more than a thousand cartons of contraband cigarettes.
In a news release on Wednesday, the two agencies said officers found 900 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes wrapped in brown bags in the rear compartment of a Singapore-registered van parked in a Jalan Sayang residence.
Further checks revealed another 147 cartons and eight packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in one of the bedrooms.
Investigations show that the 47-year-old Singaporean man who was residing there had purchased the contraband cigarettes from an unknown man to be resold. The driver of the van, a 36-year-old man, made the delivery.
Officers later uncovered another 65 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in a follow-up search at the driver’s residence.
The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) amounted to about S$95,030 and S$7,690 respectively.
Officers also found about 19g of Ice, 3g of vegetable matter suspected to contain new psychoactive substances, a small amount of ketamine, 36 ecstasy tablets and various drug paraphernalia in the Jalan Sayang apartment. The van and cash amounting to S$52,510 were also seized.
Investigations are ongoing.
If found guilty under the Customs Act and the GST Act, 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 the commission of such offences and proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes are also liable to be forfeited.
The trafficking, manufacture, import, export, possession or consumption of controlled drugs also constitute an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
"CNB and Singapore Customs will continue to clamp down on illegal activities and those found engaging in such activities will be dealt with in accordance with the law," the authorities said.