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Hong Kong Customs detects suspected case of cigarette smuggling by ocean-going vessel

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected smuggling case involving illicit cigarettes yesterday (November 3) at Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. About 7.7 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized. The market value of the cigarettes was about $21 million with a duty potential of about $15 million.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers inspected a 40-foot container, declared to contain houseware, arriving in Hong Kong from Haiphong, Vietnam.

During the inspection, Customs officers discovered about 7.7 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes, with a market value of about $21 million and duty potential of about $15 million. The unmanifested illicit cigarettes were seized for further investigation.

A Customs spokesman said, “The operation showed the effectiveness of our enforcement strategy, especially the escalated enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against all illicit cigarette activities.”

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.

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

Source: HKSAR Government

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