The Straits Times
February 7, 2024
Two Singaporeans, aged 21 and 24, were arrested on Jan 31 for allegedly evading duty and goods and services tax (GST) worth $542,959.
Singapore Customs said in a statement on February 7 that 4,420 duty-free cartons of cigarettes were confiscated in two operations.
The first happened at a multi-storey car park at Jurong West Street 74, where customs officers spotted a 21-year-old man heading towards a van.
Officers found 2,680 cartons of unpaid cigarettes in the back of the van and seized both the cigarettes and the van.
During the second operation, a 24-year-old man was suspiciously standing behind a van in an open car park at 31 Bukit Batok Street.
In the back compartment of the van, 1,740 duty-free cartons of cigarettes were found, which law enforcement officers seized along with the van.
The statement added that the 24-year-old man allegedly received instructions on where to pick up and deliver the unpaid duty cigarettes through a social messaging platform.
He then passed these instructions on to a younger man whom he allegedly hired to help him distribute the unpaid cigarettes.
According to the Customs Act and the Goods and Services Tax Act, buying, selling, transferring, delivering, keeping, storing, possessing or dealing in duty unpaid goods are serious offences.
If found guilty, each of the men could be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST, imprisoned for up to six years, or both.
Vehicles used in these offenses may also be confiscated.
Both suspects are being prosecuted.