Hong Kong Customs seize more illicit cigarettes

Hong Kong Customs detected another suspected case of using a cross-boundary private car to smuggle illicit cigarettes last week, seizing some 110 000 of suspected illicit cigarettes.
It follows two similar Customs enforcement actions on September 23 and November 4.
Customs said they identified a syndicate using a cross-boundary private car to smuggle illicit cigarettes and distribute them speedily to peddlers.
“Customs officers took enforcement action and intercepted the cross-boundary private car in Sha Tin. A total of about 110 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were found on the vehicle. The total market value of the cigarettes was about $310,000 with a duty potential of about $210,000. A 33-year-old male driver was arrested and the cross-boundary private car used in the suspected smuggling of illicit cigarettes was detained.”
With this investigation ongoing, a customs spokesperson said officers will continue to closely monitor illicit cigarette smuggling activities using cross-boundary private cars and continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against illicit cigarette activities.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence carrying a maximum penalty of a $2 million fine and seven years imprisonment.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence, with maximum penalty a $1 million fine  and two years in prison.
Members of the public can report suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

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