Hong Kong Customs yesterday (June 4) mounted a special operation at Lok Ma Chau Control Point to combat organised cigarette smuggling activities. About 1.1 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes with a market value of about $3.1 million and duty potential of about $2.2 million were seized. A 52-year-old male driver was arrested and the vehicle used for conveying the suspected illicit cigarettes was detained.
Customs officers yesterday intercepted an incoming container truck declared to be empty at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. After X-ray examination and thorough inspection by Customs officers, about 1.1 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes in 83 carton boxes were found inside a false compartment of the container. The cigarettes were sorted and packed according to orders placed with a view to quick delivery to buyers.
A Customs spokesman said today (June 5), "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/Friday, June 5, 2015