Hong Kong Customs smashes suspected illicit cigarette storehouse (with photo)

     Hong Kong Customs yesterday (October 18) smashed two suspected illicit cigarette storehouses in Kwai Chung and seized a total of about 86 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes with a value of about $250,000 and a duty potential of about $160,000. 

     In an anti-illicit cigarette operation at Kwai Chung yesterday, Customs officers suspected a residential unit to be an illicit cigarette storehouse and took enforcement action. About 74 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized and a woman was arrested. Later, Customs officers seized about 12 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes in the workplace of the arrested woman in Kwai Chung.

     The arrested woman, aged 55, claimed to be a security guard. The case is still under investigation.

     Customs will continue to undertake stringent enforcement against illicit cigarette activities to protect government revenue. Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or 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 by calling the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:15