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Unreported cash movements, customs offences detected during enhanced checks at Changi Airport

Unreported cash movements, customs offences detected during enhanced checks at Changi Airport

A file photo of immigration at Changi Airport Terminal 3. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: Unreported cash movements and several customs offences were detected across two operations in Singapore in November and December, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Customs (Customs) in a joint news release on Friday (Dec 17).

The operations, each spanning seven hours, took place at Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3. The first took place on Nov 26, and the second on Dec 15. 

Enhanced checks were conducted on inbound travellers at the arrival halls of the two terminals, where two cases of unreported movements of cash into Singapore were detected.

A total of 21 other travellers were found to have failed to declare and pay taxes on dutiable cigarettes/tobacco products, liquors in excess of their duty-free allowance and new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food items exceeding their Goods and Services Tax (GST) relief allowance.

"SPF, ICA, and Customs will be conducting more joint operations with the easing of travel restrictions at our borders," said the release.

"All travellers are reminded that the authorities will not tolerate any illegal activities as we strive to safeguard our land, air and sea borders against crime and security threats, including smuggling activities and non-compliance with our regulations."

UNREPORTED MOVEMENTS OF CASH

In the first case of unreported movements of cash into Singapore, a 46-year-old male foreigner was found in possession of Singapore and foreign currencies with a total value of S$31,023. In the second case, a 57-year-old male foreigner was found in possession of Singapore and foreign currencies with a total value of S$25,000.

"Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) oversees the Cross Border Cash Reporting Regime’s (CBCRR) efforts to curb money laundering, terrorist financing, and other criminal activities," stated the release.

"The public is reminded that it is a statutory requirement to declare the physical movement of any Currency or Bearer Negotiable Instruments (CBNIs) into or out of Singapore if the total value exceeds S$20,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currency)."

Failure to report on the movement of CBNIs exceeding the prescribed amount is an offence punishable under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. 

Those found guilty can be fined up to S$50,000 or jailed for up to 3 years, or both. 

More information on Cash Transaction Reporting can be found on SPF’s website www.police.gov.sg/Advisories/Crime/Commercial-Crimes/Suspicious-Transaction-Reporting-Office.

Under the Customs Act, those found guilty of evading customs duty or excise duty can be fined up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded.

"It is the responsibility of arriving travellers to make accurate and complete declaration of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession," said the release.

"Travellers or returning Singaporeans are encouraged to make an advance declaration and payment for their dutiable or GST goods up to three days prior to their arrival in Singapore, using the Customs@SG Web Application available on Singapore Customs website."

ICA said that its top priority continues to be safeguarding Singapore's borders, adding that it would continue to conduct security checks and work with relevant authorities to detect and deter smuggling attempts so as to keep Singapore safe.

Source: CNA/ic

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