The Singapore Customs and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), in a joint statement, revealed that a syndicate leader has been given the heaviest sentence in four years for smuggling contraband cigarettes.
Mok Chee Kin, the 50-year-old man who is stateless has been given five years imprisonment and S$30 million fine for crafting plans to smuggle contraband cigarettes to Singapore.
As the culprit is unable to pay the whopping sum as fine, he will serve another thirty months in jail which makes his total imprisonment term eight years and two months.
The statement also revealed that Mok was the think tank behind the smuggling plan via Jurong Port into Singapore in March 2016. According to the statement, Mok was convicted of a total of eight charges. He was also charged of bribing Certis Cisco senior protection officer.
The court observed that Mok is a repeated offender and as a result, he became liable for enhanced punishment under the customs act which includes a compulsory jail term of six years, and a fine of at least thirty times the value of goods and service tax he evaded. Mok was jailed for a similar offense in 2011.
The statement issued by the authorities revealed that Singapore Customs officers seized a white truck on Jurong Port loaded with 10,500 cartons of illegally imported cigarettes. The total duty and GST evaded by the culprit amounted to about S$898,600 and S$87,230 respectively.
Further investigations revealed that Mok had recruited Devinderan Arajinan, a 36-year-old Singaporean truck driver for his smuggling plan. Mok imported cigarettes from Indonesia, and to avoid security checks, Mok with the help of a Malaysian man, Rajeswaran paid S$4,500 to a Certis Cisco senior protection officer.
The statement added that Singapore has zero tolerance towards such acts and any corrupt practices will be met with strict legal actions which includes a minimum of six years jail and a fine worth 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded.