Hong Kong Customs seized about 0.7 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $1.9 million and a duty potential of about $1.3 million in Yuen Long and Tai Po.
During an anti-illicit cigarette operation at Yuen Long, Customs officers intercepted a private car and found about 3 000 suspected illicit cigarettes in the private car. Customs officers further seized about 0.4 million suspected illicit cigarettes on another private car and inside two 20-feet containers in the vicinity.
Two men involved in the case, aged 20 and 21, were arrested. Later the same day, Customs officers intercepted three men unloading some carton boxes from a lorry at Tai Po and seized a total of about 0.3 million suspected illicit cigarettes inside the boxes. Three men, aged between 56 and 59, were arrested. The three vehicles involved in the cases were detained for further investigation. Investigation is ongoing.
Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, anyone involved in dealing with, possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public may report any suspected illicit cigarette activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.