Hong Kong Customs detects large-scale illicit cigarette smuggling case with seizure worth about $38 million (with photo)

     â€‹Hong Kong Customs detected a large-scale illicit cigarette smuggling case on September 11 and seized about 10 million suspected illicit cigarettes at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. The estimated market value was about $38 million with a duty potential of about $26 million.

     Through risk assessment and intelligence analysis, Customs selected and inspected four 20-foot seaborne containers in a batch, arriving from Thailand en route to Jiangxi, via Hong Kong, and declared as carrying recycled materials. Upon inspection, Customs officers seized the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes inside the containers.

     An investigation is ongoing. Customs will continue to trace the source and flow of the illicit cigarettes.

     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.

     Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, 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) or online form (eform.cefs.gov.hk/form/ced002/).

Ends/Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:50