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Eight Indonesian men, aged between 24 and 53, have been arrested for their suspected involvement in smuggling duty-unpaid cigarettes into Singapore on Tuesday (Aug 11).
They were arrested during an operation conducted by the Police Coast Guard (PCG) and supported by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Officers from the PCG Anti-Smuggling Team conducted an enforcement operation on board a Singapore-registered tugboat at the Western Anchorage.
"During the enforcement operation targeting illegal activities in Singapore water, a total of 3,490 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were discovered inside the tugboat," said the police in a statement.
"Eight men were placed under arrest and the duty-unpaid cigarettes were also seized as case exhibits.
"The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $433,430 and $33,020 respectively."
Investigations by Singapore Customs are ongoing.
The police will continue to work closely with other maritime and enforcement agencies to safeguard our waters and sea borders against crime and security threats, including smuggling activities.
Members of the public are also advised that the police do not tolerate any illegal activities in Singapore waters.
"Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, PCG will continue to work closely with other maritime and enforcement agencies to safeguard our waters and sea borders against crime and security threats, including smuggling activities," added the police.
Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession 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.
Members of the public with information on smuggling activities or evasion of Customs duty or GST can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000, email email@example.com or use Customs@SG mobile app to report these illegal activities.