Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected case of illicit cigarette distribution in Kwun Tong today (July 2). About 1.1 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized from a lorry. The estimated market value and duty potential of the seizure were about $2.8 million and $2.1 million respectively. In the operation, a male driver, aged 49, was arrested. The lorry used for conveying the suspected illicit cigarettes was detained for further investigation.
While conducting an anti-illicit cigarette operation in Kwun Tong this morning, Customs officers found a driver handling goods on a lorry. Upon further enquiry with the driver, Customs officers found the goods suspicious and took immediate action. About 1.1 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes contained in 110 carton boxes on the lorry were seized. The cigarettes were sorted and packed in batches according to orders placed with a view for quick delivery to buyers. Customs is investigating the source of the suspected illicit cigarettes and other persons involved.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling and buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is imprisonment for two years and a fine of $1 million.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs via the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Wednesday, July 2, 2014