Singapore

Three S'poreans charged for contraband cigarette activities

Three Singaporeans and one Indonesian were charged in the State Courts on June 11 for their involvement in contraband cigarette activities.

Singapore Customs officers arrested Muhammad Khairul Anwar Bin Abdul Hadi, 30; Zulkiflee Bin Wari, 40; Ramdan Bin Tengalim, 48 – and Indonesian Haidir, 37, on June 10.

Singapore Customs and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) held joint checks on a consignment of 30 bed headboards that arrived at Seletar Airport on June 9. 

The press release said checks revealed duty-unpaid cigarettes hidden in the specially modified headboards.

PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

The officers "kept a close watch as the consignment of headboards was transported in a bonded truck to a warehouse at Loyang Crescent".

At about 10pm, they spotted the truck leaving the warehouse and trailed it to an HDB block at Pasir Ris Street 21, where they saw Muhammad Khairul, Zulkiflee and two other Singaporean men disposing of the headboards at a refuse collection centre nearby.

Officers arrested the men and seized the truck.

A total of 2,999 cartons and 7 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded was more than $309,000.

Court proceedings are underway for Muhammad Khairul, Zulkiflee, Ramdan and Haidir. Investigations are ongoing for the other three suspects.

Fined and/ or jailed

Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences under the Customs Act and the Goods and Services Tax (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.

The minimum court fine for first-time and repeat offenders of tobacco-related offences are $2,000 and $4,000 respectively. Repeat offenders who are caught with more than two kilogrammes of tobacco products will also be jailed.

Vehicles used in the commission of such offences are also liable to be forfeited, the authorities added.

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