SINGAPORE: Officers from the Police Coast Guard mounted an operation early Monday morning and intercepted an illegal intrusion by a speedboat conveying duty unpaid cigarettes into Singapore.
1,300 cartons of duty unpaid cigarettes and a seven—metre—long speedboat were seized.
The total Excise Duty and Goods and Services Tax evaded by the cigarettes was about S$107,000.
Police said at about 6am, an unnumbered speedboat was spotted heading towards the mouth of Sungei Pandan. Moments later, when the boat was near the shoreline, two subjects on board the speedboat were seen throwing boxes wrapped in black plastic bags onto the shoreline.
The boxes were subsequently found to contain duty unpaid cigarettes, and officers immediately moved in to intercept the speedboat. When they realised they had been detected, the smugglers ditched their illegal activities and fled from the scene to evade arrest.
Efforts to locate the two suspects are currently in progress.
Under the Customs Act and the Goods and Services Tax Act, offenders will be severely dealt with. They can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.
Vehicles used in the commission of such offences may also be forfeited.
The public is strongly advised not to buy duty—unpaid products.
For possessing a packet of duty—unpaid cigarettes, buyers may face a minimum fine of $500 or prosecution in court.
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