Man jailed 17 months for trying to smuggle illegal cigarettes worth over $86,000

Wong Casandra
Senior Reporter
(PHOTOS: ICA)

A 57-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to 17 months in jail on Friday (9 February) for attempting to smuggle over $86,000 worth of contraband cigarettes into Singapore.

Tan Chin Min pleaded guilty in the State Courts to two charges under the Customs Act.

Tan had arrived in a Singapore-registered tour bus at the Tuas Checkpoint on Wednesday at about 1pm.

Upon further checks, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers found 1,057 cartons – or 10,570 packets – and 10 loose packets of contraband cigarettes of assorted brands valued at $86,354.

(PHOTO: ICA)

The cigarettes, which weighed over 211kg, were concealed inside modified compartments behind the driver seat, floorboard and undercarriage of the bus.

The duty and goods and services tax (GST) evaded amounted to about $82,100 and $6,044, respectively.

For each charge, Tan could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to 20 times the amount of duty or GST evaded.

On top of a fine, repeat offenders will face a mandatory jail term of up to six years. Vehicles used in committing such offences are liable to be forfeited.

Related stories:

Man who abused two-year-old stepson jailed 6 months and 2 weeks

Fewer immigration offences in 2017, but more cases of contraband smuggling and sham marriages

Internet love scams on the rise, though overall crime rate falls 1% in 2017