Current Affairs

More than 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes seized by Singapore Customs, 4 arrested


SINGAPORE: Singapore Customs said on Thursday (Dec 7) that it seized 1,024 cartons and 710 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes from two related operations.

A male Chinese national, Xu Songxin, 32, and three Singaporean men were arrested in the operations, it said in its press release.

In an operation on On Dec 4, Singapore Customs officers saw Xu leaving a unit  of a  condominium along Holland Road. 

The officers moved in to conduct a check on Xu and searched his room in the unit, where they found 260 cartons and 421 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes. Xu was arrested and the duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

A total of 260 cartons and 421 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized from Xu’s room. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

Singapore Customs said its investigations revealed that Xu had stored the duty-unpaid cigarettes in the room while waiting for further instructions on delivery.

Related investigation led Singapore Customs officers to mount another operation on Dec 5.

They trailed a car driven by a man to a car park in Jurong West Street 41 and saw the driver parking the car next to a van.

Two other men approached the vehicles to transfer a box from the van to the car and the officers moved in to conduct a check.

A total of 764 cartons and 289 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes and the two vehicles were seized in this operation.

Some of the cigarettes seized by Singapore Customs. (Photo: Singapore Customs)

Three Singaporean men were arrested for their suspected involvement in duty-unpaid cigarette activities.

Singapore Customs said the total duty and Goods and Services Tax involved in these two cases amounted to about S$96,140 and S$7,060 respectively.

Xu was sentenced by the State Courts on Dec 6 to six months’ imprisonment for storing duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Investigations are ongoing for the three Singaporean men.

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