Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected illicit cigarettes (with photo)

1 Feb 2018

Hong Kong Customs today (February 1) seized about 670 000 suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $1.8 million and a duty potential of about $1.3 million at Man Kam To Control Point.

Customs officers intercepted an incoming container truck declared to carry hardware products at Man Kam To Control Point today. After inspection, Customs officers found the suspected illicit cigarettes inside 133 carton rolls.

A 63-year-old male driver was arrested and the container truck was detained. Investigation is ongoing.

This is the first time Customs officers discovered that culprits attempted to use carton rolls as camouflage to smuggle illicit cigarettes into the territory and mix-loaded with other goods with a view to increasing the difficulty of examination. However, using risk management and advanced equipment, Customs officers successfully smashed this smuggling case.

Customs believed that offenders would replenish supplies of illicit cigarettes before Chinese New Year and therefore took special operation.

Customs reminds members of the public that selling or buying illicit cigarettes is a serious crime and liable to criminal sanctions with criminal records.

Smuggling is a serious offence. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Thursday, February 1, 2018

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