Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected illicit cigarettes (with photo)

     Hong Kong Customs yesterday (July 17) detected two illicit cigarettes cases involving wheelchairs and seized about 15 000 suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $40,000 and a duty potential of about $28,000 at Lo Wu Control Point.

     Customs officers intercepted an incoming male passenger on a wheelchair and a female passenger accompanying him yesterday. About 14 000 suspected illicit cigarettes were found in the handbags carried by them and rucksacks hung on the wheelchair. On the same day, Customs officers intercepted another incoming male passenger on a wheelchair and found about 1 000 suspected illicit cigarettes in his handbag.

     The three persons were arrested for failing to declare dutiable cigarettes in excess of duty-free concessions to a Customs Officer.

     The arrested persons are aged between 64 and 79. An investigation is ongoing.

     Customs officers will stay vigilant on this smuggling modus operandi. Customs reminds members of the public that under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, and selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

     Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Thursday, July 18, 2019
Issued at HKT 17:15