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Hong Kong Customs detects two suspected smuggling cases of illicit cigarettes

Hong Kong Customs mounted a special operation to combat illicit cigarette smuggling on April 26 and 27. In the operation, two suspected smuggling cases involving illicit cigarettes were detected at Man Kam To Control Point. A total of about 2.6 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized from two incoming trucks.

Customs officers intercepted an incoming truck declared to contain assorted cargoes at Man Kam To Control Point on April 26. After thorough inspection, Customs officers found about 1.4 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes inside 174 toy packaging boxes. On April 27, about 1.2 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were found among ceramic tiles carried on board an incoming truck.

The total market value of the suspected illicit cigarettes seized in the two cases was about $7.2 million with a duty potential of about $5 million. Two male drivers, aged 51 and 37, were arrested and the two trucks used for conveying the suspected illicit cigarettes were detained.

A Customs spokesman said today (April 28), “Hong Kong Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement actions against the smuggling of illicit cigarettes.”

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 any suspected illicit cigarette activities by calling the Customs’ 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

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