Customs detects case of illicit cigarettes concealed in fake air dehumidifiers (with photo)

8 May 2014

Hong Kong Customs detected earlier a suspected case of using fake air dehumidifiers to conceal illicit cigarettes at Man Kam To Control Point. About 700 000 sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized on a cross-boundary container truck. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $1.9 million with a duty potential of about $1.3 million. In the operation, a 52-year-old male truck driver was arrested and the container truck was seized.

Customs officers at Man Kam To Control Point intercepted on May 6 an incoming cross-boundary container truck declared to be carrying 1 010 boxes of shoes, toys and plastic products. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 700 000 sticks of illicit cigarettes concealed separately in 47 fake air dehumidifiers. It was believed that speedy distribution of the illicit cigarettes to various buyers in the territory would be arranged. Customs officers took enforcement action immediately.

A Customs spokesman said today (May 8) that the department will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against the smuggling of illicit cigarettes at boundary control points to protect government revenue.

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/Thursday, May 8 2014

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