Hong Kong Customs yesterday (September 2) mounted a special operation to combat the smuggling of illicit cigarettes through the cross-boundary logistics network and seized about 0.43 million sticks of illicit cigarettes from a cross-boundary vehicle. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $1.1 million with a duty potential of about $0.73 million. In the operation, a 48-year-old male driver was arrested and the vehicle used for conveying the illicit cigarettes was seized.
Around noon yesterday, Customs officers at Man Kam To Control Point intercepted an incoming cross-boundary vehicle declared to have 463 boxes of assorted goods on board. After X-ray examination and thorough inspection by Customs officers, about 0.43 million sticks of illicit cigarettes were found in 72 carton boxes, mix-loaded with other goods and concealed at the rear of the lorry.
The Divisional Commander (Man Kam To) of Land Boundary Command, Mr Fok Wing-siu, said at a press conference today (September 3), "The operation showed the effectiveness of our enforcement strategy, especially the stepped-up enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. Customs will continue to undertake stringent enforcement against illicit cigarettes activities in order to protect government revenue."
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/Tuesday, September 3 2013