Hong Kong Customs detects two cases with seizures of suspected duty-not-paid manufactured tobacco worth about $52 million (with photos)
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     ​Hong Kong Customs detected two suspected smuggling cases at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on June 2 and yesterday (June 5). A total of about 11.6 tonnes of suspected duty-not-paid manufactured tobacco, with an estimated market value of over $52 million and a duty potential of about $35 million, were seized.

     In the first case, through risk assessment, Customs on June 2 selected for inspection a 40-foot container, declared as carrying carpets, arriving from Guangdong, the Mainland to Hong Kong for re-exporting to Australia. Upon a thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 410 carton boxes, which carried a batch of suspected duty-not-paid manufactured tobacco packed in transparent plastic bags, inside the container. The total weight of the tobacco was about 9 900 kilograms and the estimated market value was about $44.8 million.

     In the second case, Customs yesterday selected for inspection a 40-foot container, declared as carrying assorted goods, through risk assessment. The container was also arriving from Guangdong, the Mainland to Hong Kong for re-exporting to Australia. Upon a thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 80 carton boxes, which carried a batch of suspected duty-not-paid manufactured tobacco packed in tea leaf packaging bags, inside the container. The total weight of the tobacco was about 1 700kg and the estimated market value was about $7.5 million.

     Investigations of the above-mentioned two cases are ongoing.

     Customs will continue its risk assessment and intelligence analysis for interception at source to combat illicit cigarette activities for protection of revenue.

     Smuggling is a serious offence. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven 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/Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:10

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