SINGAPORE: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers uncovered three separate attempts to smuggle contraband cigarettes into Singapore during the last two weeks of the year.
In total, more than 600 cartons and 1,600 packets of cigarettes were seized by officers at the Woodlands Checkpoint.
Last week, two smuggling attempts were foiled when officers discovered 556 cartons and 1,458 packets of cigarettes in various modified compartments of two Malaysia-registered cars, ICA said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Dec 31).
In the first case on Dec 29, officers found an assortment of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden within the modified dashboard, floorboard, fuel tank and rear bumper of the vehicle
On Dec 27, more contraband cigarettes were confiscated after officers found the items stashed within the front and rear bumpers, modified dashboard, gear compartment and side panels of another car.
The cars were driven by a 33-year-old Malaysian man and a 27-year-old Malaysian woman, who were referred to Singapore Customs with the exhibits and vehicles.
In a separate case on Dec 23, ICA officers found 47 cartons and 230 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the modified seat compartments of a Malaysia-registered car.
“This case involving two Malaysians, a 29-year-old male driver and a 42-year-old female passenger, was referred to the Singapore Customs for further investigation,” ICA said.
ICA added that this method of concealment is a cause for concern as similar methods may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore.