Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected illicit cigarettes (with photo)

1 May 2019

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (April 30) detected a suspected illicit cigarettes smuggling case by cross-boundary private car at Shenzhen Bay Control Point. A total of about 20 000 suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $50,000 and a duty potential of about $40,000 were seized.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers intercepted an incoming private car at Shenzhen Bay Control Point and found the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes concealed in a total of five false compartments at the doors and the boot of the private car.

The 44-year-old male driver was arrested and the private car was detained. Investigation is ongoing.

Customs will continue its stringent enforcement against illicit cigarette activities at all control points.

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.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying duty-not-paid tobacco commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Wednesday, May 1, 2019

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