ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Two men were arrested and more than 3,500 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized in an operation last Thursday, said Singapore Customs yesterday.
The Singaporeans, aged 30 and 63, were nabbed in a carpark in Hougang Avenue 3 after Customs officers caught the younger man unloading brown boxes containing the contraband goods from a van onto a trolley.
The goods were being collected by the older man.
A total of 750 cartons of the illegal cigarettes were found in the van and on the trolley. Officers found another 2,800 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in subsequent checks at a unit in an industrial building in Aljunied Road.
The duty evaded amounted to SGD362,090, while the goods and services tax (GST) evaded was SGD32,230.
The van with the contraband goods was seized in the operation. A truck was also taken by the officers from an open carpark near the industrial building.
The 30-year-old driver had allegedly used the truck to deliver duty-unpaid cigarettes to the industrial unit. He then allegedly used the van to deliver some of the cigarettes to the older man in Hougang.
The older man has been prosecuted and is awaiting court proceedings. Investigations are ongoing for the driver.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed for up to six years, or both.
Repeat offenders who are caught with more than two kilogrammes of tobacco products will face mandatory imprisonment. Vehicles used in such offences can be forfeited.