Customs officers today (August 22) smashed a suspected illicit cigarette distribution syndicate in Tin Shui Wai and seized 0.92 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes. The cigarettes worth about $2.48 million with duty potential of about $1.75 million. A 33-year-old man was arrested.
Customs identified in an earlier investigation a syndicate suspected of using goods vehicle to distribute illicit cigarettes to peddlers in Yuen Long and Tin Shiu Wai. Custom officers took enforcement action today and intercepted a goods vehicle in Tin Shui Estate, Tin Shui Wai. During the operation, officers seized 0.92 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes which carried a market value of $2.48 million and a duty potential of about $1.75 million. A 33-year-old man, was arrested and investigation is still ongoing. Customs believed that this suspected illicit cigarette distribution syndicate has been neutralized.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, any person dealing with, selling or buying illicit cigarettes was liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $1 million and two years' imprisonment.
Hong Kong Customs urged members of the public to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Saturday, August 22, 2015