Singapore Customs said in a statement on Thursday that it raided two locations; a farm and a commercial building on Friday and seized nearly 3,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes.
In case of the first raid, the officers moved in on a van parked inside the farm in Sungei Tengah Road, after seeing a 57-year-old man coming out from a unit in the farm. The officers found duty-unpaid cigarettes inside the van. Later, more cigarettes were found from the farm.
Singapore Customs said that man was arrested and the van was seized. It added that a total of 2,776 cartons, 345 packets and 43 sticks of contraband cigarettes were found.
The authorities said the man was subsequently charged in the State Courts on Saturday for storing duty-unpaid cigarettes. The court proceedings are going on.
As part of follow-up operations that same morning, Singapore Customs conducted another raid at a commerical building in Soon Lee Street in Jurong. There the officers seized another 150 cartons and 25 packets of contraband cigarettes from a unit.
With this, the total number of duty-unpaid cigarettes added up to 2,926 cartons, 370 packets and 43 sticks. The total amount of duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved amounted to about S$246,320 and S$18,160 respectively.
If convicted, the offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded, jailed up to six years or both.