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

8 Aug 2015

Hong Kong Customs detected a case of using fake bakery ovens to conceal suspected illicit cigarettes yesterday (August 7) at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. About 700 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized on an incoming lorry. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $1.8 million with a duty potential of about $1.3 million. In the operation, a 42-year-old male driver was arrested and the lorry used in the suspected smuggling of illicit cigarettes was detained.

In the late night of August 6, Customs officers at Lok Ma Chau Control Point intercepted an incoming lorry declared to be carrying 92 cartons of bakery ovens and plastic strips. After thorough inspection, Customs officers early yesterday morning found about 700 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes inside six fake bakery ovens. It was believed that speedy distribution of the illicit cigarettes to various buyers in the territory would be arranged.

A Customs spokesman said today (August 8), "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, August 8, 2015

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