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Two tonnes of tobacco seized in Sydney | SBS World News

Five men are accused of smuggling and possession offences after two tonnes of tobacco turned up in Sydney, hidden under bamboo blinds.


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Five men have been charged after two tonnes of illicit tobacco was seized from a Sydney cargo facility.

Customs and Border Protection said in a statement officers at the Sydney Cargo Examination Facility on Monday found 2250 kilograms of tobacco concealed within bamboo blinds in a shipping container sent from Indonesia.

On Wednesday four men were arrested and charged over importation and possession offences.

Customs and Border Protection officers later arrested a fifth man and charged him with importing tobacco products with the intent to defraud revenue.

The smugglers are accused of trying to evade $996,997.50 in duties.

“This result highlights the seriousness of the offence and should serve as a warning to all involved in the illicit tobacco trade,” Customs national investigations manager Kingsley Woodford-Smith said in a statement on Sunday.

“It doesn’t matter if you smuggle, possess or convey these goods, if caught you face a serious fine and up to 10 years in gaol.”

Recent amendments to the Customs Act have increased the maximum penalty for smuggling illicit tobacco products.

If caught, criminals now face up to 10 years prison or a fine equalling five times the duty evaded, or both.


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