Hong Kong Customs yesterday (December 22) detected a cross-boundary cigarette smuggling case at Man Kam To Control Point and seized from an incoming truck about 0.4 million sticks of illicit cigarettes packed in 56 cartons worth about $0.77 million, with a duty potential of $0.49 million. Two men, aged 32 and 38, were arrested.
At noon yesterday, Customs officers of the Man Kam To Control Point stopped and searched the incoming truck that claimed to be carrying household goods. The illicit cigarettes were found hidden inside a burrowed space within a pile of plastic mats in the cartons.
After investigation, two men, who were about to receive the cigarettes at a container truck parking area on Man Kam To Road, were arrested.
The cigarettes were grouped in different brands, packed and ready for distribution to various outlets. The two men were formally charged for dealing with goods to which the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance applies.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in the dealing, possession, selling and buying of illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
A Customs spokesman stressed that the department will continue to take stringent action against illicit cigarette activities. Members of the public are urged to report suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Thursday, December 23, 2010