Hong Kong Customs yesterday (July 27) seized about 4.5 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $12 million and a duty potential of about $8.5 million at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals.
Through risk assessment, Customs officers selected for inspection a 20-foot seaborne container, declared as carrying garments, arriving from Cambodia en route to the United States via Hong Kong. Upon examination, Customs officers found the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes inside the container.
An investigation is ongoing.
Customs will continue its intelligence analysis and risk assessment for interception at source to combat illicit cigarette activities.
Smuggling is a serious offence. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum 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 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ends/Thursday, July 28, 2022