Hong Kong Customs detected two suspected cases of using cross-boundary private cars to smuggle illicit cigarettes yesterday (September 23). About 220 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $620,000 with a duty potential of about $430,000. In the operation, two male drivers aged 27 and 41 were arrested and the private cars used in the suspected smuggling of illicit cigarettes were detained.
Customs identified a syndicate using cross-boundary private cars to smuggle illicit cigarettes and distribute them to peddlers speedily. Customs officers took enforcement action last night and intercepted two cross-boundary private cars in Yuen Long. A total of about 220 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were found in the vehicles. Investigation is ongoing.
Hong Kong Customs will 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.
Hong Kong Customs appealed to members of the public to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Thursday, September 24, 2015