PROVISIONS AS TO TRIALS AND PROCEEDINGS
114. Notwithstanding the provisions of any written law to the contrary, a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court shall have jurisdiction to try any offence under this Act and shall have the power to impose the full penalty or punishment in respect of the offence.
115. If, in any prosecution in respect of any goods seized for non-payment of customs duties or excise duties or for any other cause of forfeiture or for the recovery of any penalty or penalties under this Act, any dispute arises —
whether the customs duties or excise duties have been paid in respect of those goods;
whether they have been lawfully imported or lawfully landed, or lawfully manufactured;
whether any goods are exempt from customs duty or excise duty under section 13;
concerning the place from where those goods were brought; or
whether drawback has been lawfully claimed,
in every such case the burden of proof thereof shall lie on the defendant in such prosecution.
—(1) Any person who is proved to have had in his possession or custody or under his control —
any thing containing any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods;
the keys of any thing containing any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods;
the keys of any place or premises or any part thereof in which any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods are found; or
a document of title relating to any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods or any other document intended for the delivery of any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods,
shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have had those dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods in his possession.
(2) If any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods are found in any ship or aircraft, it shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed that those dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods have been imported in that ship or aircraft with the knowledge of the master or the commander or captain thereof.
(3) If any dutiable, prohibited or uncustomed goods are found in any vehicle, it shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to be in the possession of the owner of the vehicle and of the person in charge of the vehicle for the time being.
—(1) When any goods suspected of being uncustomed or otherwise liable to seizure have been seized, it shall be sufficient to open, examine, and if necessary test the contents of such proportion of the goods seized as the proper officer of customs may determine.
(2) The court shall presume that the goods contained in the unopened packages or receptacles are of the same nature, quantity and quality as those found in the similar packages or receptacles which have been opened.
—(1) Where, in any prosecution under this Act, it is relevant to ascertain particulars as to the registration or licensing of any vehicle, vessel or aircraft registered or licensed in Singapore or in Malaysia, a certificate purporting to be signed by the officer responsible under any written law for the time being in force in Singapore or in Malaysia or any part thereof for such registration or licensing shall be prima facie evidence as to all particulars concerning such registration or licensing contained therein.
(2) The burden of proving the incorrectness of any particulars stated in the certificate shall be on the person denying the same.
—(1) A certificate purporting to be signed by an analyst employed by the Health Sciences Authority (referred to in this section as an analyst) and purporting to be a report by him upon any matter or thing duly submitted to him for examination or analysis may be used as evidence in any proceedings for an offence under this Act on its production by the prosecution without proof of signature and shall be prima facie evidence of all matters contained therein.
(2) Where the accused person desires to examine an analyst on his report, he may require the court to summon that analyst to give evidence and the court shall thereupon summon that analyst as a witness for the prosecution.
(3) An analyst shall be bound to state the truth in a report made under his hand.
119. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68), the period of imprisonment imposed by any court in respect of the non-payment of any fine under this Act, or in respect of the default of a sufficient distress to satisfy any such fine, shall be such period as in the opinion of the court will satisfy the justice of the case, but shall not exceed in any case the maximum fixed by the following scale:
Where the fine
The period may extend to
does not exceed $50
exceeds $50 but does not exceed $100
exceeds $100 but does not exceed $200
with one additional month for every $100 after the first $200 of the fine until a maximum period of 6 years is reached.
120. On any trial before any court and in any proceedings on appeal in the Supreme Court, relating to the seizure of goods subject to forfeiture under this Act, the court shall proceed to the trial or hear the appeal on the merits of the case only, without inquiring into the manner or form of making any seizure, except in so far as the manner and form of seizure may be evidence on such merits.
—(1) Subject to this section, no witness in any civil or criminal proceedings shall be obliged or permitted to disclose the name or address of an informer or the substance of the information received from him or to state any matter which might lead to his discovery.
(2) If any books, documents or papers which are in evidence or liable to inspection in any civil or criminal proceedings contain any entry in which any informer is named or described or which might lead to his discovery, the court shall cause all such passages to be concealed from view or to be obliterated so far only as may be necessary to protect the informer from discovery.
(3) If, on the trial for any offence under this Act, the court, after full inquiry into the case, believes that the informer wilfully made in his complaint a material statement which he knew or believed to be false or did not believe to be true, or if in any other proceedings the court is of the opinion that justice cannot be fully done between the parties thereto without the discovery of the informer, it shall be lawful for the court to require the production of the original complaint, if in writing, and permit inquiry, and require full disclosure, concerning the informer.
—(1) All goods liable to seizure under the provisions of this Act shall be liable to forfeiture.
—(1) An order for the forfeiture or for the release of anything liable to forfeiture under the provisions of this Act shall be made by the court before which the prosecution with regard thereto has been held.
(2) An order for the forfeiture of goods shall be made if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that an offence under this Act has been committed and that the goods were the subject-matter of, or were used in the commission of, the offence, notwithstanding that no person may have been convicted of the offence.
(3) All goods forfeited shall be delivered to a proper officer of customs and shall be disposed of in accordance with the directions of the Director-General.
Goods seized in respect of which there is no prosecution, deemed to be forfeited if not claimed within one month
—(1) If there is no prosecution with regard to any goods seized under this Act, the goods shall be taken and deemed to be forfeited at the expiration of one month from the date of seizure unless a claim thereto is made before that date in the manner provided in this section.
(2) Any person asserting that he is the owner of the goods may personally or by his agent authorised in writing give written notice to a senior officer of customs that he claims the goods.
(3) On receipt of the notice, the senior officer of customs shall refer the claim to the Director-General who may direct that the goods be released or may direct the senior officer of customs, by information in the prescribed form, to refer the matter to a District Judge or a Magistrate for his decision.
(4) The District Judge or the Magistrate shall issue a summons requiring the person asserting that he is the owner of the goods and the person from whom they were seized, if the person is known, to appear before him.
(5) Upon his appearance or default to appear, due service of the summons being proved, the District Judge or the Magistrate shall proceed to the examination of the matter and on proof that an offence under this Act has been committed and that the goods were the subject-matter, or were used in the commission, of the offence, shall order the goods to be forfeited or may in the absence of such proof order their release.
125. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prevent the prosecution, conviction and punishment of any person according to the provisions of any other written law for the time being in force in Singapore, except that no person shall be punished more than once for the same offence.
—(1) Any senior officer of customs may compound any offence under this Act which is prescribed to be a compoundable offence by collecting from the person reasonably suspected of having committed the offence a sum not exceeding $5,000.
(2) On payment of such sum of money, the person reasonably suspected of having committed an offence, if in custody, shall be discharged, any properties seized shall be released and no further proceedings shall be taken against that person or property unless the property consists of goods the import of which is absolutely prohibited under section 38 or of goods manufactured in Singapore without a licence in contravention of this Act in which case the goods shall be forfeited.
No costs or damages arising from seizure to be recoverable unless seizure without reasonable or probable cause
127. No person shall, in any proceedings before any court in respect of the seizure of any goods seized in exercise or the purported exercise of any power conferred under this Act, be entitled to the costs of the proceedings or to any damages or other relief other than an order for the return of the goods or the payment of their value unless the seizure was made without reasonable or probable cause.