Customs smash illicit beer syndicate

23 Apr 2004

Customs officers today (April 23) smashed an illicit beer distribution syndicate believed to have been operating in Kwai Fong.

Following extensive investigations and close surveillance, Customs officers from the General Investigation and Support Division conducted an operation in Kwai Fong at about 10am today (April 23) when illicit beer was delivered to a warehouse in Kwai Fong for storage.

Customs officers then raided the warehouse located at an industrial unit at Kwai Hei Road in Kwai Fong where illicit beer was stored. They arrested a 48-year-old man suspected of being the director of a trading company inside the warehouse. He will be later charged with dealing with dutiable goods.

In the raid, more than 3,200 bottles of illicit beer in 137 cartons, with a market value of about $14,000 and a duty potential of about $2,600, were seized. The beer was suspected to have been imported from European countries. It was for supply to distribution and retail outlets in the New Territories including Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.

Investigations are under way.

Up to March this year, Customs officers have arrested a total of eight people engaged in illicit beer activities.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, the maximum penalty for dealing with dutiable goods is a fine of $1 million and two years' imprisonment.

Ends/Friday, April 23, 2004

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