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Customs foils suspected sea-bound smuggling of illicit cigarettes

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected sea-bound smuggling case of illicit cigarettes at the seashore in Lau Fau Shan this morning (June 27). About 210 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes were seized and the estimated market value and duty potential were about $600,000 and $400,000 respectively. A 45-year-old man was arrested and the light goods vehicle used for conveying the illicit cigarettes was detained for investigation.

Customs mounted an anti-illicit cigarette operation in Lau Fau Shan at about 4am today.

In the operation, Customs officers found a porter moving goods to a light goods vehicle near the seashore. Customs officers intercepted the 45-year-old porter and searched the vehicle. About 210 000 sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes contained in 21 foam boxes were found in the light goods vehicle.

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.

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 a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

Members of the public are urged to report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs’ hotline at 2545 6182.

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