Customs cracks illicit cigarette distribution case in Yuen Long (with photo)

27 Feb 2013

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (February 26) afternoon cracked an illicit cigarette distribution case in Yuen Long. A total of 2.9 million sticks of illicit cigarettes packed in 232 carton boxes were seized. The total value of the illicit cigarettes was about $7.2 million with a duty potential of $4.9 million. In the operation, three men, aged between 21 and 35, were arrested and two vehicles used for conveying the illicit cigarettes were also seized.

At about 1pm yesterday, while conducting an anti-illicit cigarette operation in Yuen Long, Customs officers found a lorry and a van handling goods at a remote area in Yuen Long. A total of 232 carton boxes of illicit cigarettes were found on board the two vehicles. The officers then arrested the two drivers and another man involved at scene.

A Customs spokesperson said today (February 27) that the department will continue to take stringent enforcement against illicit cigarette activities to protect government revenue.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling and buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is imprisonment for two years and a fine of $1 million.

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

Ends/Wednesday, February 27 2013

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