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Australian Border Force charge three men in relation to bulk illicit cigarettes seizure

Australian Border Force charge three men in relation to bulk illicit cigarettes seizure

Sydney : Three men have been charged in relation to an alleged importation of 9.5 million illicit cigarettes into WA in October.

A 25-year-old Victorian man was yesterday charged with one count of importing tobacco products with the intention of defrauding the revenue under second 233BABAD (1) of the Customs Act 1901.

He was arrested after attending a Geraldton Police Station on an unrelated matter.

He fronted the Geraldton Magistrate’s Court today.

Australian Border Force investigators have charged three people in relation to the seizure, which amounts to 47,500 cartons of cigarettes — worth more than $7.66 million of evaded duty.

A 36-year-old Morley man is facing the same charge. He appeared at the Perth Magistrates Court on November 19 and was released on conditional bail to reappear on January 18.

A 28-year-old Morley man was arrested in relation to the cigarette seizure in early November. He has been charged with one count of importing tobacco products with the intention of defrauding the revenue under second 233BABAD (2A) of the Customs Act 1901. He was granted conditional bail.

The 28-year-old was arrested after search warrants at two houses and a tobacconist shop in Morley, as well as a storage unit in O’Connor. A further 31,000 cigarette sticks were seized at one of the homes, as well as numerous documents and electronic devices.

Investigations are ongoing.

The maximum penalty for tobacco smuggling is 10 years in prison or a five up to five times the amount of duty evaded.

The illicit tobacco market in Australia is worth about $600 million a year in evaded revenue.