04-Sep-2012 filed under Case Detected at Checkpoints
Officer: This is an empty consignment.
Supervisor: Empty or not, we have got to scan it. No chances.
Officer: The images don’t seem right.
Supervisor: Send it for physical inspection
On 3 September 2012, at about 6am, a Malaysia-registered lorry arrived at Tuas Checkpoint and went through the radiographic scanner as part of the routine checks. In the course of scanning the lorry, which was not carrying any cargo consignment, the sharp officers observed some anomalies in the scanned images and directed it for detailed inspection.
2. The team of Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers are not leaving anything to chance. Upon interviewing the driver, he appeared nervous and was evasive in answering officers’ questions. Sensing something amiss, the officers conducted their checks meticulously. Soon enough, officers uncovered a box containing packets of “Hans Chhap Scented Khani” chewing tobacco hidden in the undercarriage at the back of the lorry. Subsequently, officers also uncovered another two carton boxes containing the same brand of chewing tobacco hidden inside the driver’s cabin. The 28-year-old driver and his 38-year-old co-driver were certainly trying to bite off more than they can chew!
Chewing tobacco found in the undercarriage at the back of the lorry
Sachets of chewing tobacco detected
3. The officers’ efforts uncovered a total of 9,075 sachets of “Hans Chhap Scented Khani” chewing tobacco weighing approximately 82kg. The total potential Customs duty and GST payable of the chewing tobacco are estimated to be about $19,520 and $1,550 respectively.
4. Preliminary investigations revealed that the Malaysian driver was promised RM200 to bring the chewing tobacco into Singapore by hiding them in various parts of the lorry. His co-driver was promised RM100 for rendering his assistance. Both drivers and the illegal stash were handed over to the Singapore Customs for further investigations.
5. Buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty-unpaid goods are serious offences 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.
6. Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. We have tightened our security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands. The same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out more sinister attacks in Singapore. The enhanced security checks are critical to our nation’s security.
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
4 SEPTEMBER 2012