FEATURES
More Vehicles Involved in
Cross-Border Smuggling of
Contraband Cigarettes Seized
Singapore Customs seized a total of 243 vehicles that were involved in the smuggling of contraband cigarettes at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints in 2014. This is the largest number of vehicles seized since 2009.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in a modified rooftop compartment of the bus driven by Mohan.

Contraband cigarettes hidden in the modified floorboard of a car.

Packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes uncovered from a modified CNG tank of the car driven by Koi.

A total of 1.1 million packets of contraband cigarettes, valued at over $11 million, were recovered from these vehicles. They were concealed in various modified compartments of the vehicles such as the floorboards, rooftop compartments and fuel tanks.

In one of these cases, a Malaysian man, Koh Kah Wei, 21, was caught for attempting to smuggle 1,048 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes in his vehicle at the Tuas Checkpoint. Koi hid the cigarettes in the modified Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and fuel tanks of the car.

The duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to more than $8,900. Investigations revealed that Koi would be paid RM500 if he succeeded in smuggling the cigarettes into Singapore. Koi was sentenced to three months' jail on 18 June 2014 by the State Courts. The car was also forfeited. In another case,a Malaysian, Jayamohan Mohan, 29, was sentenced by the State Courts on 5 June 2014 to 18 months' jail for attempting to smuggle 11,900 packets of contraband cigarettes into Singapore via the Woodlands Checkpoint. The cigarettes were hidden in a modified roof-top compartment of the bus he was driving. The bus has been forfeited by the Court on 10 March 2015.

"We would like to advise those who may be tempted to smuggle contraband cigarettes not to do it as it is not worth it," said Mr David Foo, Head of Special Investigation Branch. "All offenders will be dealt with severely. Vehicles used in the cross-border smuggling of contraband cigarettes are also liable to be forfeited by the court."

"Singapore Customs will work closely with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, and continue to monitor the cross-border contraband cigarette smuggling situation," said Mr Foo.


Share this article
Print this article