Singapore: ICA seizes 70,000 cans of duty-unpaid beer declared as fruit punch

69,048 cans of duty-unpaid beer declared as fruit punch were detected in a consignment at Pasir Panjang Scanning Station. Facebook/ICA

Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that nearly 70,000 cans of duty-unpaid beer, which were declared as fruit punch, were uncovered on Monday.

On Thursday, ICA said in a Facebook post that the officers detected the 69,048 cans of duty-unpaid beer in a consignment while it was passing through the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station. The post added that the case is still being investigated by the Singapore Customs.

The duty and Goods and Services Tax of the duty-unpaid beer amounted to about S$86,580 and S$20,140 respectively.

The authority said that this method of concealment poses a cause for concern as it may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore.

Earlier this month, ICA released a statement that showed a clear rise in contraband smuggling, with 90,327 cases in 2017, or a daily average of 247 attempts. There was an increase of 2.6 per cent from the 88,050 cases, which were reported in the previous year. However in 2015, there were 95,677 cases.

ICA officers have also reported several cases of smuggling people, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband items. According to the authority, the use of heavy commercial vehicles for smuggling contraband remains a trending concern.

"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. The security checks are critical to our nation's security," the authorities said in the statement.

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 contrabands. 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.