Customs detects suspected case of illicit cigarettes concealed in fake bakery ovens (with photo)

8 Jul 2014

Hong Kong Customs today (July 8) detected a suspected case of using fake bakery ovens to conceal illicit cigarettes at Man Kam To Control Point. About 1 million sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized from a cross-boundary lorry. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $2.7 million with a duty potential of about $1.9 million. In the operation, a 27-year-old male lorry driver was arrested and the lorry used for smuggling illicit cigarettes was detained for investigation.

Customs officers at Man Kam To Control Point intercepted an incoming cross-boundary lorry declared to be carrying 10 boxes of bakery ovens this afternoon. After thorough inspection, 10 fake bakery ovens were found to contain about 1 million sticks of illicit cigarettes with an aim of evading Customs detection. The cigarettes were sorted and packed in batches according to orders placed for quick delivery to buyers. Investigation is ongoing.

A Customs spokesman said that the department will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against the smuggling of illicit cigarettes at boundary control points.

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 suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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