This is definitely not fine for most smokers!
Recently, Singapore Customs has been carrying out a massive crackdown on contraband cigarettes entering the country. Smokers who are caught possessing contraband cigarettes, even if it’s just one cigarette, will face a minimum fine of $500 (RM1,500), as reported by Sinchew.
Just yesterday afternoon, an operation involving 18 customs officers was carried out in Ang Mo Kio and in just over two hours, 329 contraband cigarettes were confiscated from 35 people.
The enforcers disguised in plain clothes were seen walking in pairs and conducting spot checks on smokers. They revealed their IDs before asking the smokers to show their cigarettes.
Ciggies that do not have ‘SDPC’ (Singapore Duty-Paid Cigarette) printed on them are considered contraband and are therefore illegal. As such, whoever possess them will be fined a minimum of $500 (Rm1,500).
Since 2009, only cigarettes with ‘SDPC’ printed on them are considered legal in Singapore.
Unfortunately, many Malaysians who travel to Singapore daily to work are not aware of this rule.
A young Malaysian man working at a massage parlour was ambushed by the enforcers when he was taking a smoke break outside his shop. He entered Singapore a day before with a half-empty packet of cigarettes.
“I’ve always thought that if I could bring them (cigarettes) into Singapore, I’m allowed to smoke them here. Plus, I’ve never heard of such a rule before,” he said.
Apparently this has always been a misconception among foreigners and even citizens who return from other countries. They thought it was fine to bring in a packet of cigarettes that’s already been opened, and that declaring them at customs is not needed. Well, they were wrong.
Any cigarette that is entering Singapore must be declared at customs and have the duty paid. A receipt will then be given to them. In the event of a spot check, smokers will only have to show the receipt issued earlier and they won’t be fined, according to Yeo Ban Meng, Head of Suppression and Community Engagement, Singapore Customs.
So guys, you might want to check your pockets to make sure all cigarettes are declared whenever you enter Singapore! A RM1,500 fine is no joke man!
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