Hong Kong Customs today (January 15) detected a cross-boundary smuggling cigarettes case at Man Kam To Control Point. In an inbound goods vehicle, a total of 122 boxes containing about 1.5 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes were found. The total value is about $2.8 million with a duty potential of $1.8 million. In the operation, a 44-year-old man was arrested and the goods vehicle was seized.
At about noon today, Customs officers at Man Kam To Control Point intercepted a loaded goods vehicle which declared to contain "glass products". The officers discovered the illicit cigarettes under X-ray examination. The driver was arrested immediately.
In this case, the illicit cigarettes were placed in seven big wooden boxes to avoid being examined. 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 reduce the risk of being detected.
According to the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment of seven years.
A Customs spokesman stressed that with the approach of the Lunar New year, Customs Land Boundary Command, Special Task Force and Revenue and General Investigation Bureau will jointly take stringent enforcement measures against cigarette smuggling activities to protect government revenue. Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Saturday, January 15, 2011