Hong Kong Customs detects suspected smuggling case of illicit cigarettes (with photo)

1 Sep 2015

Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected smuggling case involving illicit cigarettes today (September 1) at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. About 2.6 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized from an incoming lorry. The market value of the cigarettes was about $7 million with a duty potential of about $5 million. A 40-year-old male driver was arrested and the vehicle used for conveying the suspected illicit cigarettes was detained.

Customs officers intercepted an incoming lorry declared to be carrying 212 boxes of plastic parts at Lok Ma Chau Control Point in the early hours. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 2.6 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes in another 210 carton boxes. The illicit cigarettes were mix-loaded with other goods and concealed in the rear part of the compartment.

A Customs spokesman said today, "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/Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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