Tong Chye Heng, a 58-year-old Singapore man has been jailed for 50 months, after he was found guilty of possessing illegally imported cigarettes. He was also asked to pay S$11 million as a fine. The man was given a harsh punishment as he stored and dealt with contraband cigarettes while he was out on bail for committing a similar offence.
A repeated offender now behind the bars
The Singapore Customs Department, on February 27 revealed that the man will serve another 31 months of imprisonment, as he is unable to pay the fine imposed by the court. Altogether, the man's punishment will be 81 months. The Customs Department revealed that the man is a repeated offender, as he had been sentenced on four different occasions since 1998 for similar offences.
Tong Chye Heng was pleaded to guilty of five charges, and five another charges were taken into consideration while giving him the sentence.
Details of the incident
It was on June 02, 2017, that Tong Chye Heng was initially arrested for dealing with contraband cigarettes. He was arrested for storing 2,926 cartons, 370 packets, and 43 illegally imported cigarettes at a farm in Sungei Tengah Road. The man was charged in court on June 03, 2017, and he was later released on bail.
However, he was once again nabbed by the customs when he tried to transfer a box of contraband cigarettes to a van from his car at a carpark in in Jurong West Street 41 on December 05, 2017. Customs also seized more than 700 cartons of cigarettes from his van during this operation.
Customs also conducted a follow-up operation two days later, and the authorities seized 24 cartons and 469 packets of contraband cigarettes at an industrial building in Eunos Avenue 3.
During the hearing, the prosecution asked the court to give strict punishment to the convict as he is a repeated offender.