Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected case of smuggling illicit cigarettes at Tsing Yi Cargo Examination Compound on September 21. A total of about 20 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes was seized.
Through risk assessment, Customs officers selected and inspected two 40-foot containers declared to contain plastic boxes arriving Hong Kong from Haiphong, Vietnam. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found a total of about 20 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes mix-loaded with 82 cartons of plastic boxes inside the containers, with a market value of about $54 million and duty potential of about $38 million. The unmanifested cigarettes were seized for further investigation.
A Customs spokesman said today (September 23), "The operation showed the effectiveness of our enforcement strategy, especially the escalated enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. 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/Friday, September 23 2016