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

15 Sep 2015

Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected case of using sofas to conceal illicit cigarettes yesterday (September 14) at Man Kam To Control Point. About 1 900 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized on an incoming container truck. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $5.1 million with a duty potential of about $3.6 million. In the operation, a 47-year-old male driver was arrested and the container truck used in the suspected smuggling of illicit cigarettes was detained.

Customs officers at Man Kam To Control Point yesterday intercepted an incoming container truck declared to be carrying 977 cartons of assorted goods. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 1 900 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes inside 76 sofas. It was believed that speedy distribution of the illicit cigarettes to various buyers in the territory would be arranged.

A Customs spokesman said today (September 15), "Hong Kong Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against the smuggling of illicit cigarettes at boundary control points."

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 suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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