Customs foils largest recent case of unmanufactured tobacco smuggling by transhipment (with photo)

19 Dec 2014

Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected smuggling case involving the transhipment of unmanufactured tobacco from Hong Kong International Terminals on December 10, resulting in the seizure of about 12 000 kilograms of unmanufactured tobacco. This was the largest smuggling case involving the transhipment of unmanufactured tobacco in the past decade.

Through intelligence and in-depth investigation, Hong Kong Customs identified and examined a 40-foot container, declared to contain signposts, on a river trade vessel from the Mainland destined for Australia. About 12 000 kilograms of unmanufactured tobacco were found in the container. The unmanifested tobacco was seized. Customs will continue with the follow-up investigation.

A Customs spokesman said today (December 19), "Hong Kong Customs will spare no effort in closely monitoring tobacco smuggling activities. Co-operation with Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies for intelligence exchange will be maintained to trace and track smuggling 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 Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, December 19, 2014

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