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

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     ​Hong Kong Customs today (March 3) raided a suspected illicit cigarette storage in Yuen Long and seized about 2.8 million suspected illicit cigarettes with an estimated market value of about $10.3 million and a duty potential of about $7 million.

     During an anti-illicit cigarette operation conducted in Yuen Long this afternoon, Customs officers seized the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes inside an industrial building unit on Leung Yip Street and a lorry parked on the ground floor of the building. A 34-year-old man suspected to be connected with the case was arrested and the lorry suspected to be involved was detained.

     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 also continue its risk assessment and intelligence analysis for interception at source as well as through its multi-pronged enforcement strategy targeting storage, distribution and peddling to spare no effort in combating illicit cigarette activities.

     Customs stresses that it is an offence to buy or sell illicit cigarettes. 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).