Contraband cigarettes seized from Malaysia registered buses at custom checkpoints

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Two attempts of illegal smuggling of contraband cigarettes were foiled by officers at the custom checkpoints over the previous weekend. Contraband cigarettes were found concealed in a school bus with students on board at Woodlands Checkpoint and boxes of contraband cigarettes were found in the luggage compartment of a bus at Tuas Checkpoint.

The first case took place on 6 November 2015 at about 6.40am. A Malaysia-registered school bus driven by a 30-year-old female Malaysian was directed for further checks upon arrival at Woodlands Checkpoint. The school bus was ferrying six students attending schools in Singapore. During the course of inspection, duty-unpaid cigarettes concealed in the modified storage areas of both sides of the bus were uncovered.

A total of 69 cartons and 112 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

Three days later, on 9 November 2015 at about 1.00am, officers directed an empty Malaysia-registered bus driven by a lone 19-year-old male Malaysian for further checks upon arrival at Tuas Checkpoint. During the course of inspection, officers found contraband cigarettes hidden in the rear luggage compartment of the bus.

A total of 1,850 cartons and 499 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded for the two cases exceeded S$153,650 and S$14,660.  The subjects, contraband cigarettes and vehicles for both cases were handed over to the Singapore Customs for investigations. The vehicles used in the commission of such offences are liable to be forfeited.

The 30-year-old female Malaysian was sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment on 11 November. Investigations are ongoing for the 19-year-old male Malaysian.