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Customs smashes two illicit cigarette smuggling cases in Lok Ma Chau

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Hong Kong Customs yesterday (August 20) smashed two illicit cigarette smuggling cases in Lok Ma Chau Control Point and seized a total of about 1.62 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes on board two cross-boundary container trucks. The total value of the cigarettes was about $4.07 million with a duty potential of about $2.77 million. In the operations, two male drivers (aged 61 and 49) were arrested and the two container trucks used in the smuggling of illicit cigarettes were seized.

At about 7am yesterday, Customs officers at Lok Ma Chau Control Point intercepted a cross-boundary logistics container truck. Upon examination, about 0.42 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes concealed in two wooden boxes were found on board the container truck.

Another case took place at about 10pm at the same control point. Customs officers intercepted an unladen cross-boundary 40-foot container truck. Upon X-ray examination, about 1.2 million sticks of duty-not-paid cigarettes were found inside a false compartment.

In the cases, cigarettes of various brands had been sorted and packed so that the cigarettes could be speedily delivered for sale.

Customs believes that the illicit cigarette syndicate continues to manipulate the “swift distribution” mode in an attempt to lessen the risk of being detected.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling and buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is imprisonment for two years and a fine of $1 million.

A spokesman for Hong Kong Customs said today (August 21) that 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 Customs’ 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Source: HKSAR Governmen

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