Customs smashes syndicate using cross-boundary private cars to smuggle illicit cigarettes
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Hong Kong Customs yesterday (July 17) smashed a syndicate using cross-boundary private cars to smuggle illicit cigarettes. A total of 74,200 sticks of illicit cigarettes were seized and three men aged from 24 to 30 were arrested. Six private cars involved in the smuggling, storage and distribution of the illicit cigarettes were also seized.
After a series of investigations, Customs' Revenue and General Investigation Bureau officers discovered a syndicate frequently using cross-boundary private cars to smuggle illicit cigarettes into Hong Kong from the Mainland. The illicit cigarettes were then delivered to carparks in Tin Shui Wai for temporary storage in the private cars pending collection and distribution by other vehicles.
The Customs officers mounted an operation yesterday and raided three cross-boundary private cars at Tin Shui Wai and Lok Ma Chau Control Point. Two private cars for storage and another one for collection and distribution were also seized.
During the operation, a total of 74,200 sticks of cigarettes were seized with a total value of about $740,650 and a duty potential of $126,600.
Three men were arrested.
A Customs spokesman said today (July 18) that the department will continue to closely monitor the situation and conduct stringent enforcement actions against illicit cigarette activities.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession, selling and buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
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