Man slapped with $6.6 million fine and 38 months of jail for duty-unpaid cigarettes

Annabeth Leow
The Straits Times
Tuesday, Sep 6, 2016

A 61-year-old Singaporean man was slapped with a $6.6 million fine and a 38-month jail sentence on Thursday (Sept 1) for dealing in duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The $6.6 million fine is the highest fine handed down by the State Courts so far this year for duty-unpaid cigarette-related offences, said a Singapore Customs spokesman.

If he cannot pay the fine, Abdul Rashid Abdullah will have to serve an extra 22 months on his sentence.

Read also: More than 3,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized by ICA officers at Jurong Port

On Wednesday (Aug 31), Singapore Customs received a tip-off about contraband cigarettes being stored in a terrace house in Upper Paya Lebar Road.

Customs officers found 2,400 cartons of cigarettes kept in brown boxes and hidden in wooden frames.

The duty and goods and services tax (GST) on the cigarettes came up to about $204,990.

Investigations showed that the house was rented by Abdul Rashid to stash the cigarettes.

He was convicted of a similar offence in 2008 and sentenced to three years in jail.

Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, and/or jailed for up to six years, said Singapore Customs.

The minimum court fine for first-time and repeat offenders of tobacco-related offences is $2,000 and $4,000 respectively. Repeat offenders who are caught with more than two kg of tobacco products will also face mandatory jail sentences.

The Straits Times

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