You load 16 blocks, whaddya get? Jail, apparently. That’s the hard lesson a 25-year-old Malaysian man is learning after his arrest last month for trying to smuggle nearly 12,500 cartons of cigarettes inside 16 blocks of concrete, Singapore authorities said yesterday.
Officers at Tuas Checkpoint on the morning of July 27 thought they noticed something a bit off about the blocks in the back of the man’s truck, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a statement.
Their hunch paid off. Drilling holes in the concrete blocks uncovered 12,479 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes encased within, the largest haul in five years, according to ICA.
The driver was subsequently arrested and turned over to the Singapore Customs department for investigation.
The total tax evaded amounted to about S$1.3 million (US$900,000).
Under the Customs and GST act, those found guilty of buying, selling, delivering, storing or dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded or jailed for up to six years, or both.