Hong Kong Customs has discovered two large-scale unlawful cigarette smuggling instances at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound, with an estimated market value of $54 million.
In the first case, Hong Kong Customs chose and inspected a 20-foot seaborne container coming in Hong Kong from Cambodia on 21 September based on risk assessment and intelligence analysis.
During the examination, Customs agents discovered around 4 million suspected illegal cigarettes inside the crate.
Another case was discovered on 25 September when Customs agents assessed a 40-foot seaborne container arriving in Hong Kong from South Korea and stated to contain vehicle components.
There were around 11 million suspected illegal cigarettes seized.
Investigations of the two cases are ongoing. Customs will continue to trace the source and flow of the illicit cigarettes.
If convicted, the maximum penalty is a $2 million fine and seven years in prison, according to Hong Kong Customs.
The Import and Export Ordinance prohibits the importation of alternative smoking goods such as electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, and any related equipment, components, and accessories.