Customs smashes illicit cigarette smuggling case in Lok Ma Chau (with photos)

19 Dec 2012

Hong Kong Customs today (December 19) seized about 1.8 million sticks of illegally imported cigarettes found on board a cross-boundary lorry arriving in Hong Kong at Lok Ma Chau Control Point.

The total value of the illicit cigarettes was about $4.5 million with a duty potential of about $3.1 million. The male driver, aged 36, was arrested and the lorry seized for investigation.

At about 7am today, Customs officers at Lok Ma Chau Control Point intercepted an incoming cross-boundary lorry with a declared cargo of 451 boxes of toys and plastic products. After X-ray examination and thorough inspection by Customs officers, about 1.8 million sticks of illicit cigarettes were found in 150 carton boxes.

The illicit cigarettes were mix-loaded with other goods and concealed in the rear of the lorry's cargo compartment. The smuggler also tried evade Customs detection by using the false declaration.

With the approach of Christmas and the Lunar New Year, Hong Kong Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement against the smuggling of illicit cigarette at boundary control points to protect government revenue.

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 2545 6182.

Ends/Wednesday, December 19 2012

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