Press Release 04 Jan 2023

Singapore Customs arrests three men and seizes more than 4,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes

Singapore Customs arrested three male Singaporeans, aged between 28 and 30, and seized 4,144 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation on 30 December 2022.

Case information
During the operation conducted at an industrial building in Ubi Crescent, Singapore Customs officers sighted three men near a van at the loading/unloading bay. Officers conducted checks and uncovered 1,124 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van and at the loading/unloading bay. The trio were arrested.

Officers conducted follow-up checks on a unit in the same building and uncovered another 3,020 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and mattresses allegedly used as cover loads to conceal the cigarettes. 

Investigations revealed that the men were allegedly engaged to retrieve the duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in mattresses, and repack them for delivery. 

All the duty-unpaid cigarettes and the van were seized in the operation. The total duty and Goods and Services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $387,200 and $30,390 respectively. Court proceedings against the three men are ongoing.

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 duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email to report these illegal activities.

Singapore Customs
4 January 2023

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