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More than 4,700 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized, 3 arrested in Bedok and Woodlands

More than 4,700 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized, 3 arrested in Bedok and Woodlands

A total of 2,996 cartons and 40 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were found in a Singapore-registered van at Woodlands Avenue 6. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

SINGAPORE: More than 4,700 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized following operations in Bedok and Woodlands, Singapore Customs said on Monday (Aug 23).

Three men - a Singaporean, Chinese national and Malaysian - were also arrested. 

Singapore Customs said it conducted an operation on Aug 18 near Bedok North Street 5 where officers observed boxes being transferred from a Singapore-registered van to a Singapore-registered truck.

A check found 1,700 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the two vehicles.

The truck driver, a 44-year-old Chinese national, was arrested, said Singapore Customs. 

Officers seized 1,700 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from a van and truck at Bedok North Street 5. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

During an operation on the same evening at Woodlands Avenue 6, officers uncovered 2,996 cartons and 40 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in another Singapore-registered van.

The driver and the passenger of the van, a 47-year-old Singaporean and a 54-year-old Malaysian, were arrested.

In a subsequent search at the Singaporean man's residence at Yishun Street 22, officers seized an additional 64 cartons and 37 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes, said Singapore Customs. 

Cigarette cartons and packets found in the Singaporean man’s residence at Yishun Street 22. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

The two operations resulted in the seizure of three vehicles and a total of 4,760 cartons and 77 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$407,160 and S$32,660 respectively.

Cash amounting to S$12,750, which was suspected to be criminal proceeds from the sale of duty-unpaid cigarettes, was also seized from one of the suspects. 

Investigations are ongoing, said Singapore Customs. 

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.

Offenders 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 and proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes are also liable to be forfeited.

Members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can contact the Singapore Customs.

Source: CNA/ng(zl)

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