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September 20th, 2012:

HK$3.3m haul of illicit cigarettes seized in Tsing Yi


Submitted by eldes.tran on Sep 20th 2012, 1:03pm

News›Hong Kong


Lai Ying-kit

Customs officers have seized illicit cigarettes worth HK$3.3 million and arrested three suspected smugglers in Tsing Yi, the government announced on Thursday.

A customs spokesman said the haul involved 110 boxes holding a total of around 1.3 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes. The cargo is worth about HK$3.3 million and the duty potential on the cigarettes is HK$2.3 million.

Customs officers discovered the illicit cigarettes on board a cross-boundary container truck and a local lorry, which were stopped at the roadside of Tsing Yi Road on Wednesday.

The officers spotted three men behaving suspiciously while moving the boxes from the container truck to the local lorry, and discovered the illicit cigarettes in the two vehicles, the spokesman said.

The three men, aged 23 to 55, were arrested and the vehicles seized.

The men are members of a syndicate that is trying to smuggle a large number of illicit cigarettes into Hong Kong before the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holidays – which will occur in less than two weeks – the spokesman said.

The syndicate has refined its methods of smuggling in trucks and delivering the illicit cargo to customers in Hong Kong, he said.

“These cigarettes were sorted and packed in different types of packaging, according to local orders, for quick delivery to the black market. A large quantity of genuine cargo was used as camouflage, to prevent customs officers from detecting them,” the spokesman said.

Possessing or dealing in illicit cigarettes can lead to a two-year jail sentence and HK$1 million fine under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance.

The seizure coincided with a high-profile crackdown this week against cross-border parallel goods traders near the mainland border.


Customs and Excise Department


Source URL (retrieved on Sep 20th 2012, 8:50pm):

Plain packaging under scrutiny

Plain packaging

So Australia (proceeding) NZ, India, UK and now RSA in line to follow Australia’s lead.

Plain packaging under scrutiny

20 Sep 2012. South Africa is exploring cigarette plain packaging and will issue a report on its feasibility by the end of this year, SAPA press agency said in a story citing Department of Health Director of Promotion Vilma Moodley

Graphic warnings for cigarette labels may also be instituted, she reportedly said in testimony before a health panel of Parliament. Following favourable review, the new regulations could be in place as early as next year, SAPA cited Moodley saying after the parliamentary briefing. A complete ban on smoking indoors in public places, eliminating smoking areas, and on outdoor smoking in some forms of outdoor areas will be proposed, Moodley said. (pi)