Singapore: Malaysian caught while smuggling 4 packet cigarettes covered with bread at Woodlands Checkpoint

contraband cigarette smuggling
contraband cigarette smuggling Immigration & Checkpoints Authority/ Facebook

A 28-year-old Malaysian man was arrested for attempting to smuggle four packs of contraband cigarettes into Singapore. Reports stated that the man tried to hide those cigarettes in a hollowed-out loaf of bread but was captured by the immigration officers.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, May 15 that the accused attempted to smuggle the cigarettes at the Woodlands Checkpoint on Monday, May 14. The post also stated that to hide the cigarettes, he placed the loaf of the bread in the storage compartment of his motorcycle.

ICA said in the post that a meticulous checkpoint officer found those packets and later the alleged smuggler was given a compound fine of $800, as he failed to "declare and pay duty and Goods and Services Tax on the cigarettes."

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority/ Facebook

Following table shows that depending on the quantity of the smuggled tobacco, what will be the punishment for such smuggler.

Quantity of Tobacco Product (kg)Sentencing Range (months)
> 40030-36

In February this year, ICA said that the cases of smuggling contraband cigarettes went up in 2017. On April 24, customs officers arrested eight men and seized 5000 cartons of contraband cigarettes. The officials said that the total GST tax evaded amounted to about $439,280 and $32,180 respectively.

In the same month, the customs officers also arrested more than 25 smokers with contraband cigarettes in the central business district after conducting a secret operation.

This article was first published on May 17, 2018