Hong Kong Customs today (May 15) detected a cross-boundary smuggling case of illicit cigarettes at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. In an inbound goods vehicle, a total of 133 boxes containing about 1 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes were found. The total value is about $2.5 million with a duty potential of $1.7 million. In the operation, a 54-year-old man was arrested and the goods vehicle was seized.
At around 7.30am, Customs Officers of Lok Ma Chau Control Point intercepted a loaded goods vehicle which declared to contain "toys and electronic parts". Upon X-ray examination, Customs Officers seized the cigarettes inside the far end of the cargo compartment. About 60,000 sticks of seized cigarettes, which had been sorted and packed, were found concealed inside 74 airmail parcels with labels of different foreign addresses. It is expected that the illicit cigarettes could be speedily delivered to overseas after entering Hong Kong. The male driver was arrested for follow-up investigation.
Customs will continue to take stringent enforcement against cigarette smuggling activities to protect government revenue.
According to the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment of seven years.
Ends/Tuesday, May 15 2012