Hong Kong Customs enhanced enforcement on cross-boundary smuggling of illicit cigarettes and detected a suspected smuggling case of illicit cigarettes. A total of about 500,000 sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized with value of about $1.2 million and a duty potential of about $1 million. Two men aged 25 and 54 were arrested.
On January 8, Customs officers intercepted an incoming cross-boundary lorry at Man Kam To Control Point and found about 450,000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes concealed in 33 speakers. A male driver was arrested. Customs then mounted a controlled delivery operation. On January 9, about 50,000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized in a store house in Kwun Tong with the arrest of a man conveying illicit cigarettes.
A Customs spokesman said today (January 10), "The operation showed the effectiveness of our enforcement strategy, especially the escalated enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against all illicit cigarette activities."
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in buying, selling or dealing with illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities on the Customs' hotline at 2545 6182.
Ends/Saturday, January 10, 2015