Hong Kong Customs yesterday (June 25) detected a cross-boundary smuggling cigarettes case in Man Kam To Control Point. In an inbound goods vehicle, a total of 160 boxes containing about 1.9 million sticks of duty not paid cigarettes were found. The total value is about $3.6 million with a duty potential of $2.3 million. In the operation, one local man was arrested and the goods vehicle was seized.
At about 3pm yesterday, Customs officers in Man Kam To Control Point intercepted a loaded goods vehicle which declared to contain "glass vase and plastic cup". Upon examination, the duty not paid cigarettes were found while the driver was arrested immediately. Customs officers found a large quantity of carton boxes containing plastic cups in the outer-most part of the compartment to act as camouflage.
In this case, cigarettes of various brands, which had been sorted and packed, could be speedily delivered for sale. Customs believes that the illicit cigarette syndicate continues to manipulate the "swift distribution" mode with an attempt to lessen the risk of being detected.
The 54-year-old arrested man has been charged of "importing unmanifested cargo" under the Import and Export Ordinance.
According to the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment of 7 years.
A Customs spokesman stressed that Customs would continue to combat illicit cigarette activities to protect revenue. The public is urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs 24-hours hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Saturday, June 26, 2010