Hong Kong Customs detects suspected case of smuggling illicit cigarettes in mattresses (with photo)

18 Jul 2015

Hong Kong Customs detected a case of using mattresses to conceal suspected illicit cigarettes on July 15 at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. About 610 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized on an incoming lorry. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $1.7 million with a duty potential of about $1.2 million. In the operation, a 39-year-old male driver was arrested and the lorry used in the suspected smuggling of illicit cigarettes was detained.

On July 15, Customs officers at Lok Ma Chau Control Point intercepted an incoming lorry declared to be carrying 889 cartons of assorted goods including electronic parts, shoes and furniture. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 610 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes inside 25 mattresses. It was believed that speedy distribution of the illicit cigarettes to various buyers in the territory would be arranged.

A Customs spokesman said today, "Hong Kong Customs 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 the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Saturday, July 18, 2015

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