Major crackdown on illicit cigarette trade in Hong Kong nets 1.1 million units

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12th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong Customs officers dismantled a major illicit cigarette operation in the district of Tuen Mun on Wednesday morning. The raid, targeting a nondescript metal hut in Tai Lam, led to the seizure of approximately 1.1 million suspected illicit cigarettes, valued at around HK$5.1 million, with a potential duty evasion of about HK$3.8 million.

The successful operation was the culmination of precise intelligence work and strategic planning by the customs authorities. Officers stormed the makeshift storage centre, where they discovered the illicit goods hidden inside and in a light goods vehicle parked nearby. The vehicle is believed to have been used to distribute the illegal cargo.

A 38-year-old male, suspected of overseeing the operations at the site, was apprehended during the raid. The suspect has since been released on bail pending further investigations, highlighting the ongoing efforts to dismantle the networks behind this lucrative black market.