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Customs seize almost 27,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes; S$2.6m in taxes evaded

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Customs seized close to 27,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and arrested 13 men during a two-day operation last week, it said in a press release on Thursday (Sept 26).

In a reminder to the public, the Singapore Customs said that the buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

In a reminder to the public, the Singapore Customs said that the buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

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SINGAPORE — The Singapore Customs seized close to 27,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and arrested 13 men during a two-day operation last week, it said in a press release on Thursday (Sept 26).

Customs officers had first conducted checks on two trucks in the vicinity of Choa Chu Kang Avenues 2 and 3 on Sept 18 when they uncovered brown boxes containing duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Three Malaysian men — aged between 31 and 36 — were arrested in the afternoon sting, where officers seized a total of 2,142 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Later that evening, customs officers raided a warehouse unit in Bukit Batok Crescent and seized another 12,513 cartons and 840 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes. Four men — one Malaysian and three Indonesians aged between 20 and 40 — were arrested.

The next morning, officers raided a warehouse unit in Gambas Crescent and seized 10,631 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes found in two trucks. Six Singaporean men, aged between 25 and 26, were nabbed.

That evening, another raid in Woodlands Street 13 uncovered 1,428 cartons of such cigarettes.

The total haul: 26,714 cartons and 840 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$2,564,940.

The authority added that of the 13 men arrested, eight have been charged in court while investigations are still ongoing for the remaining five.

In a reminder to the public, the Singapore Customs said that the buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act.

Offenders could be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, and jailed up to six years.

Just last month, officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority stopped a lorry attempting to enter Singapore with more than 12,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The cigarettes seized — the largest haul in the last five years — had been encased inside 16 large concrete blocks.

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Singapore Customs cigarettes duty illegal

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