Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected case of illicit cigarettes concealed inside a container and seized about 1.3 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes in Tsing Yi last night (January 6).
Customs officers intercepted a truck last night on Hong Wan Road, Tsing Yi. After thorough inspection, about 1.3 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were found inside a false compartment of the container on the truck. The market value of the cigarettes was about $3.7 million with a duty potential of about $2.6 million. A 35-year-old male driver was arrested and the truck together with the container were detained.
A Customs spokesman said today (January 7), "The operation showed the effectiveness of enhancing the enforcement strategy on all fronts. Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement against illicit cigarettes activities for protection of government revenue."
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possessing, selling and buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is imprisonment for two years and a fine of $1 million.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs' 24-hour hotline at 2545 6182.
Ends/Thursday, January 7, 2016