Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected illicit cigarettes worth about $12 million (with photo)

29 Sep 2022

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (September 28) seized about 4.5 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $12 million and a duty potential of about $8.6 million at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers yesterday selected for inspection a 20-foot seaborne container, declared as carrying auto parts, arriving in Hong Kong from Taiwan. Upon inspection, Customs officers found the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes inside the container.

An initial investigation discovered that the address declared by the consignee of the above-mentioned cargo does not exist. In addition, the brand of the suspected illicit cigarettes seized is uncommon in Hong Kong. Customs believes that the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes would have been transshipped overseas.

Investigation is ongoing.

Customs will continue its risk assessment and intelligence analysis 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.

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, September 29, 2022

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