Press Release 31 Dec 2021

Singapore Customs arrests four men and seizes more than 3,200 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes

Singapore Customs arrested four men - three Singaporean and one Malaysian - aged between 16 and 49, and seized more than 3,200 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation on 28 December 2021. 

Case Information

During the operation conducted at an industrial unit in the vicinity of Loyang Drive, Singapore Customs officers checked on a male suspect as he was approaching a Singapore-registered van, after he exited the industrial unit. Concurrently, officers moved in to inspect the industrial unit where another male was seen retrieving duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in bedframes and packing them into canvas bags. The two male suspects were arrested and two Singapore-registered vehicles – a lorry and a van - were also seized. In relation to the case, another two males were subsequently arrested for their alleged involvement in duty-unpaid cigarettes activities. 

A total of 3,232 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized during the operation. The total duty and Goods and Service tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $276,010 and $22,140 respectively. Two of the men were charged in court on 30 December 2021 while investigations are ongoing for the remaining two.

In addition to duty-unpaid cigarettes, 1,056 boxes of pods and 247 vaporisers were found in the storeroom of the industrial unit during the operation. The case was referred to the Health Sciences Authority for further investigation. 

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing 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 are liable to be forfeited.

Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg to report these illegal activities.


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