4,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in guise of air-conditioners seized at Tuas checkpoint

Contraband Cigarettes
Lorry used to smuggle Contraband Cigarettes Facebook: ICA

Officers of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) seized a total of 4,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes at the Tuas checkpoint. In a statement issued via Facebook today, ICA revealed that it was on August 16 that they seized these illicit goods in a consignment which was declared as air conditioners.

The officers of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority became suspicious when they found anomalies while scanning a Malaysia-registered lorry during a routine check. Upon further search, the officers found thousands of cartons of cigarettes which were hidden among the consignment.

"Not cool to smoke. ICA officers at Tuas checkpoint observed anomalies in the scanned images, conducted further checks and found 4,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden amongst a consignment declared as "air conditioners" in an arriving Malaysia-registered lorry on 16 Aug," said ICA in the statement.

The lorry was driven by a Malaysian man who is 47-years-old.

ICA has now referred the case to the Singapore Customs department, and they are now conducting further investigations.

The new smuggling incident was reported just a few weeks after another Malaysian man was caught red-handed for smuggling a large amount of cannabis and heroin through Tuas checkpoint. The incident happened on July 25, 2018, and the 25-year-old accused was trying to smuggle cannabis and heroin in his motorcycle. The Central Narcotics Bureau which is investigating this case stated that borders are the crucial line of defence for providing the security to the country.

CNB also made it clear that agencies will "to conduct checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands."

A similar incident happened at the Woodlands checkpoint last month when a 34-year-old Singaporean man was arrested for smuggling tax-evaded goods. After avoiding GST, the arrested man was trying to smuggle 200 long dresses through the checkpoint.

This article was first published on August 21, 2018