Hong Kong Customs on January 3 and today (January 6) seized a total of about 19 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $52 million and a duty potential of about $36 million at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound.
Through intelligence analysis, Customs officers on January 3 selected for inspection a 20-foot seaborne container, declared as carrying plastic products, arriving in Hong Kong from Ningbo, the Mainland. Upon inspection, Customs officers seized about 4 million suspected illicit cigarettes inside the container.
Today, Customs officers also selected for inspection through intelligence analysis a 20-foot seaborne container, declared as carrying mobile phone accessories, arriving in Hong Kong from Ningbo, the Mainland, and a 40-foot seaborne transshipment container, declared as carrying household products, arriving from Ningbo, the Mainland, en route to Malaysia via Hong Kong. Upon inspection, Customs officers seized about 15 million suspected illicit cigarettes inside the two containers.
Investigations of the above-mentioned cases are ongoing.
Customs has all along striven to combat different kinds of illicit cigarette smuggling activities and will continue its risk assessment and intelligence analysis for stepping up enforcement before the Lunar New Year.
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.
Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Thursday, January 6, 2022