Man passing red plastic bag to motorcyclist leads to 229 packs of illegal cigarettes uncovered

Four men were arrested for the possession of a total of 436 cartons and 745 packs of duty-unpaid cigarettes in three separate operations from May 16 to 18, said Singapore Customs in a statement on Friday (May 26).

The total duty evaded amounted to about $49,690 and the goods and services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $4,470.

In the first operation at a carpark of an industrial building at Pandan Loop, a Singaporean man, 54, was observed carrying black trash bags from a car walking towards the lift lobby.

Officers conducted checks on the man and uncovered 142 cartons and 180 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the trash bags and in the car. A follow-up search at a unit of the building uncovered another 100 cartons and 20 packs of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

In another operation at a Toa Payoh East carpark, checks on a 42-year-old Chinese national and a car uncovered 194 cartons and 316 packs of duty-unpaid cigarettes in canvas bags in the car boot.

In the third operation at a multi-storey carpark at Canberra Road, a man was observed passing a red plastic bag to another man who was on a motorcycle.

A check on the two Singaporeans, both aged 23, uncovered 229 packs of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

The duty-unpaid cigarettes and the three vehicles were seized. The four men were arrested and court proceedings are ongoing.

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, possessing or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences. You can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years. Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited.

If you have information on smuggling activities or evasion of duty or GST, you can call the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email