SINGAPORE: Two men have been arrested and more than 2,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized at a multi-storey car park near Yishun Street 42, the Singapore Customs said on Friday (Mar 11).
During the operation on Thursday, officers observed the men standing in between two Singapore-registered vans with their side compartment doors opened.
The officers saw many brown boxes in one of the vans and suspected that the men, aged 26 and 31, were dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes, the agency said in a media release.
They conducted checks and found 2,016 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van.
“Officers also found a pouch suspected to contain controlled drugs and drug paraphernalia in the other van,” Singapore Customs said, adding that the matter has been referred to the police for further investigation.
The duty-unpaid cigarettes and the vans were seized during the operation.
The total duty and Goods and Service Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$172,160 and S$13,700 respectively, said the agency.
The two men were arrested and investigations are ongoing, Singapore Customs added.
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, said the agency.
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 are also liable to be forfeited.