Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected illicit cigarettes (with photos)

18 May 2017

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (May 17) seized about 1.2 million suspected illicit cigarettes, with an estimated market value of about $3.2 million and a duty potential of about $2.3 million, at various locations in Kowloon and the New Territories.

During an anti-illicit cigarette operation yesterday, Customs officers inspected a cargo consignment at a logistics site in Kwai Chung and seized about 800,000 suspected illicit cigarettes. A 24-year-old man was arrested.

On the same day, Customs officers seized a total of about 400,000 suspected illicit cigarettes from two residential units in Ngau Tau Kok and Tuen Mun, and a private vehicle in Kwai Chung. Two men and one woman, aged between 21 and 46, were arrested. The private vehicle has been detained and investigation is ongoing.

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 illicit cigarettes 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.

Ends/Thursday, May 18, 2017

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