Singapore

Three arrested at checkpoints for trying to import counterfeit items

Three people were arrested at the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints on Jan 3 after they attempted to import counterfeit items, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Police Force said in a joint statement yesterday.

In the first case at Tuas Checkpoint, ICA officers directed an arriving Malaysia-registered car for further checks at about 10am. The car was driven by a 33-year-old Malaysian man, and there were two other passengers.

During the check, the man told the officers that he had to pay goods and services tax for his earphones, speakers and headsets of assorted brands.

At the tax payment office, a Singapore Customs officer noticed that the declared amount for the items, ranging from RM3 (S$1) to RM18, were too low.

REFERRED TO POLICE

The case was referred to the police for investigation on suspicion that the man could be importing counterfeit items for commercial purposes.

The man was subsequently arrested for offences under the Trade Marks Act.

More than 70 suspected counterfeit items worth an estimated street value of $800 were seized by the police.

The second case occurred at about 6.50pm at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

A checkpoint officer directed an arriving Malaysia-registered car with six people in it for further checks.

The officer found several bags in the car boot containing multiple items wrapped in transparent plastic, suspected to be counterfeit goods.

Police later arrested a 62-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, both Singaporean, for offences under the Trade Marks Act.

A police raid at their home led to the seizure of more than 110 suspected counterfeit items worth an estimated $1,800 in street value.

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.

Those found guilty of importing, possessing or distributing goods with falsely applied trademarks for the purpose of trade can be jailed for up to five years and/or fined up to $100,000.

COURT & CRIME