Hong Kong Customs raids suspected illicit cigarette storage (with photo)


     ​Hong Kong Customs today (May 14) raided a suspected illicit cigarette storage in Sheung Shui and seized about 2.4 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $6.6 million and a duty potential of about $4.6 million. 

     During an anti-illicit cigarette operation conducted in Ying Pun Ha Tsuen, Sheung Shui, in the early hours today, Customs officers seized the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes inside a metal shed. A 27-year-old man, who claimed to be unemployed, suspected to be in connection with the case was arrested. Customs officers later further arrested a 36-year-old man, who claimed to be a food store owner, suspected to be in connection with the case during a follow-up investigation.     

     An investigation is ongoing. Customs will continue to trace the source and flow of the illicit cigarettes. The likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.

     Customs will continue to combat illicit cigarette activities on all fronts through intelligence analysis.

     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 Customs’ 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).