Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected smuggling case of illicit cigarettes yesterday (October 9) at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. About 3.2 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized from an incoming lorry. The market value of the cigarettes was about $8.5 million with a duty potential of about $6 million.
Customs officers yesterday morning intercepted an incoming lorry declared to have 334 cartons of paper bags at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 3.2 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes in another 244 carton boxes. The illicit cigarettes were mix-loaded with other goods and concealed in the rear part of the compartment. The 48-year-old male driver was arrested and the vehicle used for conveying the suspected illicit cigarettes was detained.
A Customs spokesman said, "The operation showed the effectiveness of the enforcement strategy, especially the escalated enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against all 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.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs' hotline at 2545 6182.
Ends/Saturday, October 10, 2015