Customs to launch anti-illicit fuel publicity campaign

29 Mar 2005

Hong Kong Customs tomorrow (March 30) will launch a publicity campaign to warn drivers not to use illicit fuel.

The campaign, comprising a Radio Announcement in the Public Interest (Radio API), leaflets, pamphlets and posters, aims to encourage drivers to stay away from illicit fuel activities and warn them about the legal consequences of using illicit fuel.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, using illicit fuel is a criminal offence. Offenders may be liable to a maximum fine of $1 million and two years' imprisonment.

Drivers concerned, once convicted, will have a criminal record and their vehicles may be forfeited.

When convicted twice in connection with illicit oil offence, drivers will have their driving licence suspended for six months. Those convicted thrice or more will have their driving licence suspended for more than six months.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department today (March 29) said that in 2004 Customs officers had impounded 151 vehicles and arrested 462 drivers, aged between 19 and 70, suspected to be connected with the use of illicit fuel.

In 2003, 142 vehicles were impounded and 395 drivers, aged between 19 and 64, were arrested.

In these two years, the Customs and Excise Department seized a total of 4,122,834 litres of illicit fuel with value estimated at $31,226,000. A total of 19 drivers had their licences suspended by the court.

"In order to suppress the use of illicit vehicle fuel, Customs officers carry out operations from time to time to check fuel tanks of vehicles," the Customs spokesman said, "To avoid being incriminated in illicit fuel activities by unlawful elements, drivers and owners of vehicles should refuel at legal filling stations." They are also encouraged to:

In case members of the public come across any suspected illicit fuel activities, they are advised to report to the 24-hour Customs hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Previous Page