A Malaysian man was caught at Tuas Checkpoint on Friday, October 13, for trying to smuggle more than 2,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes into Singapore.
The 39-year-old who was alone in his Malaysia registered prime mover was apparently directed by the officers of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). He was held for further checks at 9:45 pm.
The ICA officers were alarmed by the incongruity in the scanned images of the empty fuel tanker that was being dragged by the prime mover.
On inspecting the mover, 2,190 cartons and 202 packets of contraband cigarettes were revealed. The man perfectly kept the illegal goods hidden in a compartment at the base of the fuel tanker.
Calculations suggest that the unpaid duty and Goods and Services Tax of the cigarettes reaches up to $171,500 and $12,710 respectively.
ICA, in a statement to The Straits Times, on Monday, October 16 said that authorities will stringently check on passengers and vehicles for security purposes, at checkpoints to prevent such acts. ICA is in a full swing to take strict actions against such criminal offences.
"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," said ICA.
Singapore Customs has now seized the man's vehicle and contraband cigarettes for further investigations.
Post the extension of thumbprint scanning on September 25, for car travellers at the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints, unwanted threats are being kept under constant check. ICA's plans to carry out BioScreen clearance for car travellers is another pivotal step in maintaining the security of the masses. Smuggling illegal goods to the country which can lead to a ruckus can only be withdrawn under strict laws. ICA's necessary steps in doing the same will be helpful in eliminating unwanted danger.