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Parliamentary Replies

Cigarette and Tobacco Smuggling in Singapore

03 Jul 2017

Parliamentary Question by Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef:

To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Ministry can provide an update on the situation of illicit cigarette and tobacco smuggling in Singapore especially in the last three to five years. 

Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat:

Strong enforcement efforts and close-interagency collaboration have kept the contraband tobacco situation in Singapore in check.

From 2014 to 2016, the number of contraband tobacco offenders, which includes smugglers, peddlers and buyers, fell by 16% from 24,840 in 2014 to 20,751 in 2016. Non-cigarette offenders made up less than 5% of those caught. 

In the same period, the amount of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized by the Singapore Customs fell by 7% from 3 million to 2.8 million packets.

Singapore Customs will continue to work with other enforcement agencies such as the Singapore Police Force and the Immigrations & Checkpoint Authority to deter the buying and selling of contraband tobacco. We will also continue to actively engage the public to raise awareness on this issue.