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June 28th, 2012:

Customs smashes illicit cigarette smuggling case in Lok Ma Chau

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Hong Kong Customs today (June 27) smashed an illicit cigarette smuggling case at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. On board a cross-boundary lorry, a total of 86 boxes containing around 1.05 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes were found. The total value is about $2.6 million with a duty potential of about $1.8 million.

In the operation, a 47-year-old man was arrested and the lorry was also seized.

At about 6.45am this morning, Customs officers at Lok Ma Chau Control Point intercepted a logistics lorry. Upon X-ray inspection, 1.05 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes were found while the driver was arrested immediately.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

Customs will continue to take stringent enforcement against cigarette smuggling activities to protect government revenue.

Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs’ 24-hour hotline  2545 6182.

Source: HKSAR Government

Caught selling cigarettes to student, 14 – well in Hong Kong none of the local retailers is required to have a licence to sell death and addiction

The New Paper

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has revoked the licence of one errant tobacco retailer, and suspended the licences of five more for selling tobacco to underage customers.

Kutub Sultan Trading at Commonwealth Avenue West was caught by HSA inspectors, selling cigarettes to a 14-year-old in school uniform on Feb 17.

Its licence was revoked and it was fined S$2,000 in court.

Five more tobacco retail outlets were suspended from Monday for six months.

The sellers working at these outlets who were found guilty of the offence were also individually fined.

The outlets were in Choa Chu Kang, Tampines, Chai Chee and Bedok North.

Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to persons under 18 is liable on conviction to a fine of up to S$5,000 for the first offence.

The tobacco retail licence will also be suspended for six months for the first offence.

However, if any outlet is found selling tobacco products to underage youth in school uniform or those below 12 years old, the licence will immediately be revoked, even for the first offence.

This article was first published in The New Paper.