Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected case of using cross-boundary private car to smuggle illicit cigarettes yesterday (November 4). About 110 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $300,000 with a duty potential of about $210,000.
Customs identified a syndicate using cross-boundary private cars to smuggle illicit cigarettes and quickly distribute them to peddlers. Customs officers took enforcement action last night and intercepted a cross-boundary private car in Tin Shui Wai. A total of about 110 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were found in the vehicle. A 41-year-old male driver was arrested and the cross-boundary private car used in the suspected smuggling of illicit cigarettes was detained. Investigation is ongoing.
Hong Kong Customs will closely monitor illicit cigarette smuggling activities using cross-boundary private cars and continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against 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.
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/Thursday, November 5, 2015