Customs detects suspected illicit cigarette smuggling case (with photo)

21 Jan 2015

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (January 20) mounted a special operation at Lok Ma Chau Control Point to combat cigarette smuggling. During the operation, about 600 000 sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized from an incoming cross-boundary lorry. The market value of the cigarettes was about $1.6 million with a duty potential of about $1.1 million. A 28-year-old male driver was arrested and the vehicle used for conveying the illicit cigarettes was detained.

Customs officers yesterday intercepted an incoming cross-boundary lorry, declared to have 243 boxes of printer parts and six boxes of packing cardboard, at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. After X-ray examination and thorough inspection by Customs officers, about 600 000 sticks of illicit cigarettes were found in six hollow stacks of carton paper boxes. The cigarettes were sorted and packed in batches according to orders placed with a view for quick delivery to buyers.

A Customs spokesman said today (January 21), "The operation showed the effectiveness of the 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.

Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs hotline at 2545 6182.

Ends/Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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