Are you thinking of bringing in that DVD from that… ahem, shop across the causeway? Are you thinking of bringing in just a packet of cigarettes that’s almost 1/2 the price in Singapore? Are you eyeing on that packet of weed that you had been dying to try and perhaps grow in your backyard? Well… you’d better think twice.

No, make it many times.

With Mas Selamat escaping from the detention center (or lying dead, whichever camp you belong to), security (has been given an excuse) to step up and strict, mandatory checks are carried out anywhere, everywhere.

If only Wireless@SG is even half as pervasive.

When the stricter checks were first implemented at the causeway, illegal immigrants were caught and – not deported back to Malaysia, but sent to the prisons in Singapore for caning before they are sent back after serving a prison term (during which, no toilet breaks will be allow, I reiterate).

And when this search and destroy and arrest was carried out in empty buildings, more illegal immigrants were caught and sent to The Gallows Cane. Indeed, Mas probably made more enemies after his escape than when he was still in detention.

Now, the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) has seized over 2000 cartons of contraband cigarettes hidden in Malaysian vehicles; and the fine to be levied – up to 20 times the amount evaded.

So, before you smuggle that DVD from across the causeway, do think twice. They could jolly well pull an Adelaide on you.

MORE than 2,000 cartons and 619 packets of contraband cigarettes were seized at Woodlands Checkpoint on Tuesday.

This is the largest haul of contraband cigarettes seized this year by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers.

The duty unpaid cigarettes were smuggled on a lorry driven by a Malaysian man and woman, who claimed to be transporting dustbin bags and calcium carbonate – a basic material for limestone and marble.

But further checks by immigration officers led to the discovery of the contraband goods hidden beneath the dustbin bags and calcium carbonate.

The potential Customs duty and GST value on the cigarettes amounted to over $160,000.

In a separate case on Tuesday, ICA officers uncovered 366 cartons of contraband cigarettes hidden in a Malaysian registered car at Woodlands Checkpoint.

The cigarettes were stuffed into the rear left panel of the boot, bonnet, seats, door panels and side skirting of the car, which was driven by a Malaysian couple.

The Customs duty and GST on the goods amounted to over $30,000.

The 21 year-old driver claimed to have been offered RM20 (S$8.60) to help smuggle the cigarettes into Singapore.

Both cases have been referred to Singapore Customs for further investigations.

If found guilty, first time offenders can be fined up to a maximum of 20 times the amount of duty evaded.

For second or subsequent convictions, offenders can be jailed for up to two years, as well as being fined. The offenders also face further fines based on the amount of GST evaded.

Article obtained from on 26th March 2008

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