Singapore Customs and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) collaborated to conduct checks on a consignment of 30 bed headboards that arrived at the Seletar Airport on 9 June 2015. The checks revealed duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in the specially modified headboards.
Singapore Customs officers kept a close watch as the consignment of headboards was transported in a bonded truck to a warehouse at Loyang Crescent. At about 10pm, they spotted the truck leaving the warehouse.
The officers trailed the truck to an HDB block at Pasir Ris Street 21, where they saw four men disposing of the headboards at a refuse collection centre nearby. The officers moved in and arrested the four men. The bonded truck was also seized.
Singapore Customs officers then raided the warehouse and arrested another three men, who were packing the cigarettes into boxes. A total of 2,999 cartons and 7 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes, which had been retrieved from the headboards, were seized. The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to over $309,000.
Three Singaporeans and one Indonesian were charged in the State Courts on 11 June 2015 for their involvement in contraband cigarette activities. Investigations are ongoing for the other three suspects. 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 will be severely dealt with. They can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.
(Source: Singapore Customs)