Customs seized $5.1 million worth of illicit cigarettes

22 Nov 2004

Customs officers of Lok Ma Chau Control Point today (November 22) with the help of the Vehicle X-ray Inspection System foiled a smuggling case and seized 3.4 million sticks of unmanifested dutiable cigarettes worth of $ 5.1 million during an anti-smuggling operation.

Customs officers intercepted and searched an incoming lorry declared to be carrying 264 cartons of resin products at about 2.40pm. Apart from the camouflage of 40 carton boxes of resin products, dutiable cigarettes were found inside the lorry compartment.

Customs officers immediately seized the goods and arrested a male driver, aged 43, for further investigation.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said that the Department is committed to combating cross-boundary smuggling activities. With better collection and analysis of the intelligence and advanced equipment, the Department can crack down cross-boundary smuggling and trafficking activities more effectively.

Any person found importing unmanifested cargo into Hong Kong will be charged under the Import and Export Ordinance with "importing unmanifested cargoes". Upon conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of $ 2 million and seven-year imprisonment.

Ends/Monday, November 22, 2004

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