Customs bust biggest illicit cigarette case in two decades
Hong Kong customs have seized about 47 million suspected illicit cigarettes in Tsing Yi with an estimated market value of about HK$130 million, marking it the biggest cigarette smuggling case in 20 years.
During an anti-illicit cigarette operation conducted in Tsing Yi last Friday, Customs officers intercepted three container trucks at Sai Tso Wan Road in Tsing Yi and seized 31 million suspected illicit cigarettes in three 40-foot containers.
After further investigation, the officers found two more containers at a nearby pier and seized another 16 million suspected illicit cigarettes.
The seized products were estimated to have a duty potential of about HK$89 million.
Three men aged 46 to 55 were arrested and five containers suspected to be related to the case were also seized by the officers.
According to customs, a total of 405 million illicit cigarettes have been seized so far this year, nearly double the amount last year when 205 million were seized.