Hong Kong Customs detects suspected case of smuggling illicit cigarettes by ocean-going vessel (with photo)

11 May 2016

Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected smuggling case of illicit cigarettes at Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on May 9. About 8.8 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers inspected a 40-foot container declared to contain towels arriving in Hong Kong from Sri Lanka. During the inspection, Customs officers discovered about 8.8 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes with a market value of about $24 million and duty potential of about $17 million. Investigation is ongoing.

Hong Kong Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against all illicit cigarette activities.

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.

Members of the public are urged to report suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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