Hong Kong Customs detects suspected case of smuggling illicit tobacco

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected case of smuggling illicit tobacco at Kwai Chung Cargo Examination Compound on October 17. About 5,300 kilograms of suspected illicit tobacco were seized.

     Through risk assessment, Customs officers selected and inspected a 40-foot container declared to contain pillowcases arriving in Hong Kong from Haiphong, Vietnam. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 5,300kg of suspected illicit tobacco mix-loaded with 146 cartons of pillows and pillowcases inside the container, with a market value of about $24 million and duty potential of about $12 million.

The unmanifested tobacco was seized for further investigation.

     A Customs spokesman said today (October 20), "The operation showed the effectiveness of our enforcement strategy, especially the escalated enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against all illicit tobacco activities."

     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 suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Published on: 2016-10-20

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