Hong Kong Customs Seizes Illegal Cigarettes Valued at $12.8 Million

Hong Kong Customs Seizes $12.8 Million Worth of Illegal Cigarettes
China Hong Kong Customs arrested seven individuals and seized black market cigarettes worth HK$100 million ($12.8 million) in a two-week crackdown on smuggling activities.

The Hong Kong Customs seized illicit cigarettes worth 100 million Hong Kong dollars (12.8 million US dollars) and arrested 7 individuals during a two-week crackdown on maritime smuggling activities. The confiscated cigarette products were traced back to mainland China, Taiwan, and Thailand, according to the customs and tax authorities, and were falsely declared as Christmas lights, flower pots, and household goods on the import documents.

Senior Inspector Lin Weijie stated that three of the containers originated from Nansha Port in Guangdong Province, while the remaining two came from Taiwan and Thailand. He further added that approximately 28 million untaxed cigarettes were found inside the five containers, with an estimated market value of HKD 100 million.

In a recent operation, customs officials apprehended seven men suspected of smuggling illicit cigarettes. If convicted, they could face a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of HKD 1 million.

The latest batch of confiscated prohibited goods this year has a total value of HKD 2.21 billion. The customs have seized 642 million untaxed cigarettes, which, if imported legally, could generate tax revenue of HKD 1.51 billion.

Customs officers seized a record-breaking 732 million illegal cigarettes last year, with a value of HKD 2.01 billion. This represents the highest annual seizure volume since records began two decades ago.

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