3 men nabbed for smuggling 364 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes

Three men, aged between 28 and 44, were arrested for their suspected involvement in the smuggling of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Officers from the Police Coast Guard (PCG) had conducted a check on a Singapore-registered vessel at sea off Temasek Fairway on May 15, at around midnight.

They purportedly uncovered 364 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes wrapped in black plastic bags, hidden inside the vessel’s engine room.

"The total duty and Goods and Service Tax (GST) allegedly evaded was about $44,610 and $3,390 respectively," said police in a statement on Sunday (June 6).

Commander of Police Coast Guard and Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Cheang Keng Keong commended his officers for their vigilance.

The police also said they do not tolerate any illegal activities in Singapore waters, adding: "PCG will continue to step up its checks against such illicit activities.

"Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are all 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.

Members of public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-233-0000, or email customs_intelligence@customs.gov.sg to report these illegal activities.