Singapore Customs arrested four men and seized more than 17,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation conducted at an industrial building in Yishun Street, making this the largest haul of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized in a single operation in 2020.
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers directed a prime mover with an attached container for further checks at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station. The officers’ suspicions were aroused when they noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the consignment. During the course of checks, ICA officers uncovered duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed inside metal cabinets. The case was handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigation.
Singapore Customs subsequently conducted an operation at an industrial building in Yishun Street 23. During the operation, officers observed a man using a forklift to remove metal cabinets from the container, while another two men were removing carton boxes containing duty-unpaid cigarettes from 16 metal cabinets and loading the carton boxes back into the container. Singapore Customs officers moved in to arrest the three men.
The operation led to a seizure of 17,250 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) amounted to about $1,473,150 and $119,270 respectively. Another 35-year-old man was subsequently arrested on the same day for his involvement in the case. All four men were charged in court.