On Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018, a 58-year-old Singaporean serial smuggler was sentenced to 50 months jail time and fined for S$11 million dollars for dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes.
Tong Chye Heng has been sentenced on four occasions since 1998 for committing customs offenses.
This is the fifth time he was caught dealing with duty-unpaid products.
Tong pleaded guilty to five charges of storing, possessing and dealing in duty-unpaid cigarettes between 2nd Jun and 7th Dec last year.
On top of those, 5 additional charges were mentioned in the sentencing on 26 Feb 2018.
Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and be jailed for up to six years, repeat offenders will be punished more severely.
Singapore Customs found 2,926 cartons, 370 packets and 43 sticks of contraband cigarettes in his farm and warehouse, 624 cartons and 469 packets in his office, 731 cartons and 190 packets in his van.
Total number added up to more than 43,839 packets of cigarettes seized, worth more than $500,000.
Tong did not pay the court fine, converting it to another 31 months on top of the 50 months sentenced, bringing the total jail term to 81 months (6 years and 9 months).
Repeat offenders who are caught with more than 2kg of tobacco products will also face mandatory imprisonment. Vehicles used in the commission of such offenses are also liable to be forfeited.