Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected case of using sofas and mattresses to conceal illicit cigarettes at Kwai Chung today (January 14) and seized about 400 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes.
Customs officers intercepted a lorry today on Kwai Yue Street, Kwai Chung. After thorough inspection, about 400 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were found inside eight sofas and nine mattresses on the lorry. The market value of the cigarettes was about $1.1 million with a duty potential of about $0.8 million. A 47-year-old male driver was arrested and the lorry used for carrying the suspected illicit cigarettes was detained.
Customs will continue to undertake stringent enforcement against illicit cigarette activities to protect 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 hotline at 2545 6182.
Ends/Thursday, January 14, 2016