Customs officers yesterday (June 28) seized $5.34 million worth of illicit cigarettes from a lorry and arrested a 41-year-old male driver at Kwu Tung, Sheung Shui.
After extensive investigations, Customs officers from the Anti-Illicit-Cigarette Investigation Division targeted an incoming lorry, suspected of smuggling illicit cigarettes into Hong Kong. About 12.20pm, Customs officers followed the lorry from Lok Ma Chau Control Point and intercepted it at Castle Peak Road in Kwu Tung for inspection. They found 3.56 million sticks of illicit cigarettes on board.
The seized duty-not-paid cigarettes carried a market value of $5.34 million and a duty potential of about $2.86 million.
The male driver, aged 41, was arrested.
So far this year, Customs officers have cracked 11 cases of smuggling illicit cigarette into Hong Kong involving the seizure of 27 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes and the arrest of 17 people. The seizures were worth about $41.82 million, with a duty potential of $22.41 million.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, the maximum penalty for smuggling is a fine of $2 million and seven years' imprisonment.
Hong Kong Customs urged members of the public to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, June 29, 2004