Vietnamese jailed for tobacco smuggling in Singapore

TN News

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A court in Singapore has sentenced a Vietnamese man to one year and four months in prison for leading a tobacco smuggling ring, the local customs agency told Thanh Nien on Friday.

Tran Dinh Hieu, 33, was also fined 14,000 Singaporean dollars (US$11,286) by the court that held a hearing on February 19.

Failing to pay the fines imposed, Hieu will remain in jail for another three weeks.

According to Singapore Customs, the man was arrested together with 17 accomplices all Vietnamese nationals on June 27 last year when they raided an apartment in the east of the country.

The raid was undertaken jointly by the Singapore Police Force and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore.

The customs agency said the ring's members, including four females, were caught with 2,090 tobacco packets worth over 22,000 Singaporean dollars ($17,736) and subject to 18,000 Singaporean dollars ($14,511) in taxes.

Ten of the Vietnamese were jailed for 12-22 weeks and fined 5,100-25,000 Singaporean dollars later that same year for being involved in the distribution of smuggled tobacco.

Meanwhile, the rest, including Hieu, were handed over to the immigration agency for further investigations, as they were found to have entered Singapore illegally.

Singapore Customs said the case was the fourth smuggling ring led by Vietnamese that they have uncovered since 2010. 

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