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Seizure of Smuggled Cigarettes and Counterfeit Shorts


Customs officers of the Ship Search and Cargo Command seized 19.8 million sticks of dutiable cigarettes and 23,184 pairs of counterfeit shorts from four containers from the Mainland, in a cargo examination operation at Kwai Chung Customs Cargo Examination Compound yesterday (May 4).

The cigarettes worth $29.3 million with a duty potential of about $16 million were shipped from Fuzhou and Xiamen by container vessels, the counterfeit shorts were imported from Fuzhou and were estimated to be worth about $1.16 million.

Investigation revealed that the smuggled cigarettes were intended for Dubai and Nigeria respectively.

Since this year, the Ship Search and Cargo Command had detected a total of 13 cigarette smuggling cases with seizures over 117 million sticks of dutiable cigarettes.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, any person illegally importing dutiable commodities is liable to a maximum penalty to a fine of $1 million and two years imprisonment. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, it is an offence to "import unmanifested cargo", the maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and an imprisonment for seven years.

With regard to the counterfeit case, initial enquiries found that the counterfeit shorts were destined for Hamburg, Germany.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person found "importing goods or in possession of goods for sale in which a forged trade mark was applied" is liable to a maximum penalty of $500,000 fine and five years imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or $100,000 fine and 2 years imprisonment on summary conviction.

The cases are now under follow-up investigation by Customs & Excise Department. No person was arrested at this stage.

End/Saturday, May 5, 2001


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