Hong Kong Customs has conducted a special operation to combat illicit cigarette activities before the Chinese New Year. A total of about 2.6 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $7.1 million and a duty potential of about $5 million were seized.
Customs officers conducted the special operation during the past two weeks to combat illicit cigarette activities and detected a total of nine cases. These included the seizure of about 2.3 million suspected illicit cigarettes inside 10 pallets of hollow cardboard on board an incoming lorry declared to contain 420 cartons of paper boxes at Lok Ma Chau Control Point on January 10. In the operation, a total of eight men, aged between 24 and 61, and a woman, aged 63, were arrested. Three vehicles involved in the cases were detained.
Smuggling is a serious offence. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
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