2 men arrested for evading more than $542,000 in duty and GST on cigarettes

Wallace Woon
The Straits Times
Feb 7, 2024

Two Singaporean men, aged 21 and 24, were arrested on Jan 31 for allegedly evading duty and goods and services tax (GST) amounting to $542,959.

Singapore Customs said in a statement on Feb 7 that it had seized 4,420 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in two operations.

The first took place in a multi-storey carpark at Jurong West Street 74, where Customs officers spotted the 21-year-old walking towards a van.

Officers found 2,680 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the van’s rear compartment, and seized both the cigarettes and the van.

In the second operation, the 24-year-old man was seen standing suspiciously behind a van in an open carpark at Bukit Batok Street 31.

The van’s rear compartment was found to contain 1,740 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes, which officers seized along with the van.

The statement added that the 24-year-old man had allegedly received instructions on where to collect and deliver the duty-unpaid cigarettes via a social messaging platform.

He then relayed these instructions to the younger man, whom he had allegedly engaged to assist him with the distribution of the duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Under the Customs Act and GST Act, buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences.

If found guilty, each of the men can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, be jailed for up to six years or both.

Vehicles used in these offences may also be forfeited.

Court proceedings are ongoing for both the suspects.

The Straits Times

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