The Police have arrested three men, aged between 41 and 49, for their suspected involvement in importing counterfeit cigarettes.
On 20 March 2020, acting on a notice given by the right holder of the trade mark, Singapore Customs seized three containers containing counterfeit cigarettes. The goods had been imported into Singapore awaiting re-export to other countries. Following the seizure, the right holder instituted infringement action against the importer and other parties and civil proceedings are on-going. The case was also referred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
On 28 May 2020, officers from the CID conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations including Punggol Drive, Hillview Ave, Jalan Asas, Teck Whye Lane, Clementi Ave 2, Ang Mo Kio Ave 5, Bedok South Ave 3 and Beach Rd resulting in the arrests. Investigation revealed that the men had imported more than 1.5 million packets of counterfeit cigarettes in the three containers, with an estimated street value of more than S$1.1 million. Investigations are ongoing.
The Police take a serious view of intellectual property rights infringements, especially in relation to counterfeit goods that might pose potential health risks. Importation and distribution of counterfeit goods are serious offences and the Police will not hesitate to take tough action against perpetrators who profit at the expense of legitimate businesses and consumers.
Anyone found guilty of importing or distributing goods with falsely applied trademarks may be fined up to a maximum of $100,000, or an imprisonment term, which may extend to five years, or both.
Singapore Customs administers the provisions relating to border measures under the Trade Marks Act and other intellectual property legislation. Under Part X of the Trade Marks Act, the proprietor or licensee of a registered trade mark may lodge a notice with Singapore Customs requesting for the seizure of trade mark-infringing goods that are expected to be imported into or exported from Singapore. Following the seizure of goods, the proprietor or licensee has to institute action against the trade mark infringement within a prescribed period.
Source: Singapore Police Force