SINGAPORE: Nearly 3,000 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes have been confiscated following an operation at a heavy vehicle carpark in Yishun, Singapore Customs said on Wednesday (Jun 23).
Four Singaporean men aged between 21 and 48 were also arrested.
Singapore Customs said it conducted an operation on Jun 18 at a heavy vehicle car park at Yishun Avenue 7.
Two Singapore-registered trucks were seen parked next to each other. Three men were also observed transferring long pieces of metal planks from one truck to the other.
Another man subsequently alighted from one truck and boarded the other vehicle to shift it closer to the first truck.
Singapore Customs said its officers then moved in to conduct a check and found 2,982 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes, some of which were still concealed in metal planks in the cargo compartment of one of the trucks.
The operation led to a seizure of two trucks and 2,982 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes, with the four men arrested.
The total duty and Goods and Services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about S$254,660 and S$20,430 respectively.
Court proceedings are ongoing against three men while investigations are ongoing against the fourth.
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.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.
Vehicles used in the commission of such offences and proceeds of sales of duty-unpaid cigarettes are also liable to be forfeited, said Singapore Customs.