Two men were jailed on Thursday (Oct 20) after they were found guilty of buying and selling duty-unpaid cigarettes via messaging app WeChat.
The Chinese nationals, Bao Jiancao, 29, and Zhu Xingbing, 45, were arrested in two separate operations conducted by Singapore Customs in Geylang and Woodlands respectively on Tuesday (Oct 18).
Bao was sentenced to three months and one week jail, while Zhu was sentenced to two months in jail and fined S$2,000.
Singapore Customs officers caught Bao with 12 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in his backpack while he was leaving a condominium in Geylang Lorong 39 on Tuesday night. After raiding his rented room, another 52 cartons and four opened packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes were seized.
Meanwhile, Zhu was caught with 22 cartons and 17 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes on the premises of a company in Woodlands Industrial Park. In a follow-up search of Zhu’s rented room in an HDB flat in Woodlands Avenue 6, the officers found another five packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes, including an opened packet.
In both operations, duty-unpaid cigarettes of the Golden Deer brand, which are not available for sale publicly in Singapore, were seized.
The total duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) involved in the two cases amounted to more than $5,480 and $2,050 respectively.
Bao and Zhu could have been jailed up to six years and be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded.