On 22 March 2018 at about 8.30am, an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station directed a 20-footer container for inspection. The officer had noticed anomalies in the scanned images of the container that was declared to contain 1,600 pairs of safety shoes in 18 pallets.
Instead of safety shoes, officers found 10,800 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the container. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $1,123,010 and $81,410 respectively. The seized exhibits were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations.
In a separate case, an ICA officer at Tuas Checkpoint directed a Singapore-registered tour bus for routine inspection upon arrival on 26 March at about 2.50pm. The bus was driven by a 57-year-old Singaporean man.
During the checks, ICA officers uncovered 2,999 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from the modified compartments within the staircase and floorboard of the bus. The total duty and GST evaded amounted to about $294,540 and $21,410 respectively. The driver, duty-unpaid cigarette, and vehicle were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations. The vehicle used in the commission of such offenses is liable to be forfeited.
“Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore’s security.” said ICA in a press release.
The security checks are critical to our nation’s security. The ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, cargos, and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands. The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore.
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