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Man arrested after trying to smuggle 12,500 cartons of cigarettes in concrete blocks into Singapore

Man arrested after trying to smuggle 12,500 cartons of cigarettes in concrete blocks into Singapore

Duty-unpaid cigarettes found within the concrete block. (Photo: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)

SINGAPORE: A 25-year-old Malaysian lorry driver has been arrested after he tried to smuggle 12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes encased in concrete blocks into Singapore.

This is the largest haul of duty-unpaid cigarettes uncovered by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority in the last five years.

ICA said in a news release on Monday (Aug 19) that the man, who was driving a Malaysia-registered lorry, was checked by officers while the vehicle was at the over-sized lorry lane at Tuas Checkpoint at about 9am on Jul 27.

The lorry was carrying a consignment of 16 concrete blocks.

During the course of checks, the officers noticed anomalies in the concrete blocks. The officers then drilled holes into the concrete blocks and discovered the contraband encased within.

READ: Woman caught for smuggling cigarettes hidden in packet of sanitary pads

READ: Man caught at Changi Airport with duty-unpaid tobacco disguised as tea leaves

The Malaysia-registered lorry carrying a consignment of concrete blocks. (Photo: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority) ​​​​​​​
ICA officers drilled a hole into the first concrete block. (Photo: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)

“The 25-year-old male Malaysian driver was immediately placed under arrest and the case was handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation,” ICA said.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$1,240,430 and S$90,590, respectively.

READ: Motorcyclist tries to smuggle cigarettes hidden in loaf of bread into Singapore

READ: E-cigarette paraphernalia found in container of rice at Woodlands Checkpoint: ICA

View of the 12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

Investigations into the case are ongoing.

“Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains ICA’s top priority. The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore,” ICA said.

Source: CNA/zl(aj)

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