Stiffer penalties enacted as illicit trade increases

Singapore has approved stiffer penalties for those convicted of smuggling tobacco products, according to a story in the Straits Times relayed by the TMA.
First-time offenders now face a minimum fine of S$2,000, while repeat offenders face a minimum fine of S$4,000 and risk imprisonment if caught with more than 2 kg of tobacco products.
In addition, traders who provide incorrect information to third-party agents for making customs declarations will also be liable for prosecution.
The changes came after customs statistics indicated that tobacco-related offenses, including smuggling and buying, selling or possessing untaxed tobacco products, increased by 24 per cent from 2005 to 2010, and that the number of repeat offenders rose by more than six times during the same period.

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