´╗┐Customs seizes illicit cigarettes worth $13.7 million at River Trade Terminal (with photos)

25 Nov 2010

Hong Kong Customs discovered 7.2 million illicit cigarettes worth about $13.7 million, with a duty potential of $8.7 million, inside a container on board a river trade vessel and arrested two men on November 23 (Tuesday).

Officers of the River Trade Terminal Unit of the Ports and Maritime Command carried out a detailed examination of the container at the River Trade Terminal by X-ray scanning, and found the illicit cigarettes hidden behind a number of cartons containing plastic bins. Further investigation revealed that the cargo, claimed as household goods, came from the Mainland and was destined for Taiwan. Two men, aged 33 and 49, were arrested.

A follow-up investigation is continuing.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is an imprisonment of seven years and a fine of $2 million. In addition, under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in importing illicit cigarettes commits an offence and the maximum penalty is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

The Customs will continue to combat illicit cigarette activities to protect revenue. The public is urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Thursday, November 25, 2010

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