Hong Kong Customs raids suspected illicit cigarette storage centre (with photo)

16 Jun 2022

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (June 15) raided a suspected illicit cigarette storage centre in Yuen Long and seized about 5 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $14 million and a duty potential of about $9.5 million.

During an anti-illicit cigarette operation conducted in Yuen Long last night, Customs officers seized the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes from a metal hut in the district. Three men aged between 22 and 31 suspected to be connected with the case were arrested.

The three arrested men were charged with "dealing with goods to which the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance applies" and will appear at the Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (June 17).

Customs will continue to trace the source and flow of the illicit cigarettes. The likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out. Also, the department will continue to combat illicit cigarette activities on all fronts through intelligence analysis.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Thursday, June 16, 2022

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