Geylang Serai Market, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 21-year-old Indonesian man was jailed for 17 months by a Singapore court on Tuesday for dealing with more than 1,400 packets of cigarettes with unpaid duty amounting to S$85,550 (US$62,540) and unpaid goods and services tax (GST) of S$6,230.

On August 5, customs officers detained Suryadi Memet, who was waiting at Geylang Serai Market for a truck delivery of 1,445 packets of cigarettes hidden under banana leaves in 706 cardboard boxes, The Straits Times reported.

The suspicious boxes were declared as food items, according to the permit. The contents were said to belong to several owners but a local trading company claimed to be the sole importer of the shipment.

In Singapore, dealing with duty-unpaid goods is considered a serious offense under the Customs Act and the GST Act. Offenders may be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.