Hong Kong Customs yesterday (December 17) detected two suspected cases of distributing illicit cigarettes at public housing estates. A total of about 53 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized and three persons were arrested.
Customs officers conducted anti-illicit cigarette operations in Sau Mau Ping and Tseung Kwan O yesterday and separately intercepted two vehicles suspected of distributing illicit cigarettes to public housing estates. A total of about 53 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized onboard the two vehicles. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $130,000 with a duty potential of about $100,000. Two male drivers, aged 34 and 36, and one male passenger, aged 15, were arrested. Investigation is ongoing.
Hong Kong Customs will continue to undertake stringent enforcement action against illicit cigarette activities to protect government revenue.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Friday, December 18, 2015