Hong Kong Customs today (March 24) concluded a special one-week operation to enhance enforcement against illicit cigarette activities with the approach of Easter. A total of about 770 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized. The market value is about $2.1 million with a duty potential of about $1.5 million.
At around noon on March 22, Customs officers seized about 530 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes concealed inside 22 mattresses in a container at Kwai Chung.
In the evening, Customs officers intercepted a seven-seater private car at Lok Ma Chau Control Point and another two at Tsuen Wan. A total of about 240 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized and the three private cars were detained for investigation.
In the operation, a total of four men aged between 27 and 56 were arrested. They have been put on bail pending further investigation.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a 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 is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Thursday, March 24, 2016