The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday that 6000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized at Woodlands checkpoint on Tuesday in Singapore. The authorities added that the consignment was declared to contain assorted vegetables but the officers found the cartons of cigarettes concealed among it.
According to ICA, the Malaysia-registered lorry that was driven by a 47-year-old Malaysian man was stopped for checks at around 6 am. The authorities said that the total duty and goods and services tax evaded amounted to about S$498,192 and S$36,744 respectively.
"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. The security checks are critical to our nation's security," the ICA said in a statement.
"The ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband. 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," the statement added.
ICA said that the driver along with the seized duty-unpaid cigarettes and lorry were handed over to Singapore Customs for further investigations. The vehicle used in the commission of such offences is liable to be forfeited.
The authorities also added that they will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands.