Joint-News Release: Multi-Agency Enforcement Operations at Changi Airport

25 Jun 2024

           Officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Singapore Customs (Customs), National Parks Board (NParks) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) conducted multi-agency enforcement operations at Singapore Changi Airport from 17 to 23 June 2024. 

2.          The enforcement operations are part of continued efforts by the authorities to clamp down on non-compliance with Singapore’s Cross-Border Cash Reporting Regime (CBCRR) and other illegal cross-border activities. Over seven days, the authorities conducted enhanced checks on travellers across Changi Airport’s four terminals. More than 10,000 travellers were identified for checks, with more than 18,000 luggage and hand-carry bags scanned or searched. 

3.          Cases detected during the checks include:

CBCRR Offences

4.     On 20 June 2024, two male Singaporeans and one female foreign traveller, aged between 31 and 50, were separately detected bringing cash of various currencies amounting to between S$30,000 and S$35,000 into Singapore without declaration.

5.         On 22 June 2024, four male foreign travellers, aged between 37 and 61, were separately detected moving cash of various currencies amounting to between S$24,000 and S$109,000 into Singapore without declaration.

6.         On 23 June 2024, three male foreign travellers, aged between 60 and 71, were separately detected moving cash of various currencies amounting to between S$22,000 and S$28,000 into Singapore without declaration. 

7.         Of these 10 travellers caught moving cash exceeding S$20,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currencies) into Singapore without declaration during the operations, two were issued with Notices of Warning, while six were issued with composition sums amounting to S$23,000 in all. Investigations are ongoing into two travellers who carried money of various currencies exceeding S$140,000 in total, into Singapore without declaration.

8.          SPF oversees the CBCRR to curb money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities. With effect from 13 May 2024, the CBCRR penalties have been enhanced to strengthen deterrence. Members of the public are reminded that while there are no restrictions on the amount of Cash or Bearer Negotiable Instruments (CBNIs) that can be moved into or out of Singapore, it is a statutory requirement to report the cross-border physical movement of CBNIs if the total value exceeds S$20,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currency). Travellers are required to submit a declaration electronically within 72 hours before entering or leaving Singapore by:

a. Downloading the MyICA mobile app and selecting “Submit Cash (CBNI) Declaration”; or

b. Submitting the declaration via ICA website at

9.         For travellers arriving in Singapore, they can also select “Submit Cash (CBNI) Declaration” under “Other Declarations”, after they have successfully submitted the Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC) on either the MyICA mobile app or ICA website.

10.          The Police would like to remind travellers that failure to report or to accurately report the movement of CBNIs exceeding S$20,000 is an offence punishable under Section 60(2) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act 1992. Offenders are liable to a fine of up to S$50,000 or to an imprisonment term of up to three years, or both. A confiscation order may also be issued for any part of the cash, in relation to which the offence was committed. More information on Cross Border Cash Movement Reporting can be found on SPF’s website ( Crimes/Suspicious-Transaction-Reporting-Office). 

Customs Offences

11.         77 travellers were detected for Customs offences of failing to declare and pay taxes on (i) dutiable cigarettes/tobacco products; (ii) liquors exceeding their duty-free allowance; or (iii) new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food items exceeding their Goods and Services Tax (GST) import relief allowance. The total amount of duty and GST involved was more than S$11,000, and the total composition sum (penalty) imposed was more than S$17,000. Notable cases included a luxury watch and a luxury handbag undeclared by two different travellers. The two largest undeclared cigarette cases involved 800 sticks and 500 sticks of cigarettes. As these cigarettes did not comply with Singapore’s Standardised Packaging (SP) requirements, they were seized and disposed of at the airport.

12.         Under the Customs Act, any person who is in any way concerned in any fraudulent evasion of, or attempt to fraudulently evade, any customs duty or excise duty shall be guilty of an offence and will be liable on conviction to a fine of up to 20 times the amount of duty and GST evaded or jailed for up to two years. It is the responsibility of arriving travellers to make accurate and complete declarations of the dutiable and taxable items in their possession. To avoid the hefty penalties and for their own convenience, foreign travellers and local residents are strongly encouraged to make an advance declaration and payment for their dutiable or GST goods up to three days prior to their arrival in Singapore, using the Customs@SG Web Application. 

13.          Since 1 July 2020, all cigarettes and other tobacco products imported into, sold, offered for sale, or distributed in Singapore must comply with the SP requirements. Otherwise, they will be disposed of at the checkpoints. Travellers can declare and make payment of their SP-compliant cigarettes and/or tobacco products via the Customs@SG web application.

Safeguarding Singapore's Borders

14.          Safeguarding Singapore's borders is ICA's top priority. ICA will continue to conduct security checks and work with relevant authorities to detect and deter smuggling attempts, to keep Singapore safe. 



25 JUNE 2024


Annex – Penalties and Advisories of offences under CNB, NParks and HSA


Singapore adopts a strict policy of zero tolerance towards controlled drugs. The consumption, possession, trafficking, import or export of any controlled drugs or products containing controlled drugs, even in trace amounts, is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA). At the checkpoints, random checks may be conducted on travellers to detect and deter drug importers and abusers. Any person who is found to have consumed a controlled drug or import into Singapore a controlled drug will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

CNB would like to advise members of the public to stay away from drugs even when overseas. Under the MDA, any Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident found to have consumed controlled drugs outside Singapore will be liable for drug consumption offences as if the offence had been committed in Singapore.


Singapore is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is committed to international effort to curb illegal trade in wildlife species protected under CITES. Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, the penalties for an individual, for the illegal import of any CITES Appendix I specimens such as rhino horns and Indian star tortoises, is a maximum fine and maximum imprisonment term up to $100,000 per specimen (not exceeding aggregate of $500,000 or the market value of all specimens at the material time, whichever is higher) and six years. For CITES Appendix II and III specimens such as reticulated pythons and agarwood, the maximum fine and maximum imprisonment term is $50,000 per specimen (not exceeding aggregate of $500,000 or the market value of all specimens at the material time, whichever is higher) and four years.


HSA will take stern enforcement actions against anyone who, imports, sells or supplies illegal health products. Anyone caught importing, selling and/or supplying such products are liable to be prosecuted and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000.

E-vaporisers are illegal in Singapore. Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, the possession, use or purchase of e-vaporisers carries a maximum fine of $2,000. It is also an offence to import, distribute, sell or offer for sale e-vaporisers and their components. Any person convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to six months or both for the first offence, and a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to 12 months or both for the second or subsequent offence. All prohibited tobacco items will also be seized and confiscated. Members of the public who have information on the illegal possession, use, purchase, import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday). More details about the harms of vaping can be found here

Photos of the Joint Operation

Signage on declaration of CBNI

Checks conducted by various agencies