Singapore Customs arrested two male Bangladeshis, aged 23 and 28, and seized 2,500 cartons and 19 sticks of duty-unpaid cigarettes in an operation on 22 December 2022.
Customs officers operations in Gul Circle
In an operation conducted at Gul Circle, Singapore Customs officers checked on two men near a vacant industrial building where one of them was seen climbing over the metal gate of the building. Both men attempted to flee the scene but were stopped by the officers. Officers searched a store unit in the property and uncovered 1,097 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes. Both men were arrested. Officers also uncovered another three cartons and 19 sticks of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the vicinity of Gul Circle and in one of the men’s belongings respectively.
Investigations revealed that both men had allegedly retrieved the duty-unpaid cigarettes from black plastic crates inside the building, and packed them into black trash bags for delivery by other unknown persons.
Officers conducted a further search of the vacant industrial building and uncovered another 1,400 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in another store unit.
All the duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized in the operation. The total duty and Goods and Services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $213,500 and $16,990 respectively. Singapore customs said that court proceedings are ongoing against both men.
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.
Singapore Customs asked members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline or email them to report these illegal activities.
Since 1 Jan 2009, all individual sticks of cigarettes meant for sale and consumption in Singapore are required to bear the SDPC marking according to specifications in the Customs Regulations.
Singapore Customs maintained its public outreach and engagement activities last year, conducting hundreds of anti-contraband cigarette talks and road shows at schools, transportation and freightforwarding companies, and foreign worker dormitories.