Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday that two men have been arrested in connection with the discovery of thousands of duty-unpaid cigarettes at Senoko Road.
In a press release, the authorities said that an officer found anomalies in the scanned images of contents of a 20-footer container at Pasir Panjang Scanning Station on Mar 28. The container was declared to be carrying 34 "wooden bases".
The duty-unpaid cigarettes, which were hidden in the hollow base of one of the wooden altars inside, were found by the ICA officers. Reports said that the Singapore Customs was alerted and its officers conducted a follow-up operation in Senoko Road that saw 2,148 cartons and 2,250 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized.
Subsequently, the custom officers also raided a HDB flat in Sembawang Drive that was rented by one of the suspects. The officers have seized 37 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes from the flat.
The uathorities said the total amount of duty and Goods and Services Tax for the cigarettes seized added up to S$200,870.
"Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the GST Act", ICA stated. If convicted, the offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded. They can also be jailed for up to six years.