Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected illicit cigarettes worth about $45 million (with photo)

1 Mar 2021

Hong Kong Customs seized about 16.5 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $45 million and a duty potential of about $31 million at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on February 26.

Through intelligence analysis, Customs officers selected a seaborne container arriving in Hong Kong from Poland via Malaysia for inspection. Upon inspection, Customs officers found the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes inside 1 650 cartons in the container.

Investigation is ongoing.

Customs will continue its intelligence analysis and risk assessment for interception at source to combat illicit cigarette activities.

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/Monday, March 1, 2021

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