Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Police, customs bust contraband cigarette ring - Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Two joint operations conducted last week by Singapore Customs and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) have disrupted a contraband cigarette distribution ring, Singapore Customs said on Wednesday.

Six men were arrested and a total of 2,399 cartons and eight packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes worth more than S$269,000 were seized.

The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evaded amounted to almost S$230,000.

Two vans that were used to transport the cigarettes were also seized.

Officers from both agencies mounted an operation at Jalan Raja Udang on 28 July, stopping a van that was conveying contraband cigarettes. They also raided a unit in a condominium, where a Singaporean man was arrested.

A total of 1,200 cartons and eight packets of contraband cigarettes were recovered from the van and unit.

A second joint operation was mounted in the early hours of 4 August near a shipyard at Pandan Road.

A second van carrying 1,199 cartons of contraband cigarettes was seized later.

Investigations revealed that one of the syndicate members had sought the assistance of the shipyard's night watchman Sumon Chandra Das Gonesh Chandra Das, a Bangladeshi national, to use the premises as the syndicate's collection point for contraband cigarettes.

Sumon was sentenced to 15 months' jail for dealing with contraband cigarettes.

Investigations are ongoing for the other five men, all Singaporeans, who were arrested. 

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