Singapore ICA seizes more than 7,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from Malaysia-registered lorries

On September 28, 2020, the Singapore authorities seized 7,559 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from two Malaysia-registered lorries at Tuas Checkpoint. — Immigration and Checkpoints Authority handout via TODAY
On September 28, 2020, the Singapore authorities seized 7,559 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from two Malaysia-registered lorries at Tuas Checkpoint. — Immigration and Checkpoints Authority handout via TODAY

SINGAPORE, Oct 2 — In one lorry, cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were concealed in a consignment of tissue rolls. In the other, they were hidden among pineapples.

On Monday (Sept 28) morning, the authorities seized 7,559 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from the two Malaysia-registered lorries at Tuas Checkpoint.

In a statement yesterday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that the first case was detected around 4am on Monday, when its officers spotted anomalies in scanned images of the lorry.

Further checks turned up 5,059 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in a consignment of tissue rolls.

About 10 minutes later, ICA officers directed another Malaysia-registered lorry for more checks.

This time, 2,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were found stashed away in boxes containing pineapples.

The duty evaded for the cigarettes totalled S$656,299 (RM2 million), while the amount of Goods and Services Tax avoided came to S$52,981.

Three Malaysian men — aged 22, 25 and 41 — have been handed over to the Singapore Customs for further investigations.

ICA said that safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains its 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,” it warned.

“ICA will continue to conduct security checks on people, goods and conveyances at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands across our borders.” — TODAY

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