Customs officers arrived at a store in Northview Street, North Point this morning (29th) to investigate and found different brands of cigarettes displayed on the shelves, some of the packages did not bear the mark of the HKSAR Government's health advisory, but accompanied by health advisories from other countries, including Macao, Taiwan, South Korea, etc., and the batch of suspected illicit cigarettes was mixed with other duty-paid cigarettes. It is believed that the perpetrators involved in the case sold illicit cigarettes in an attempt to make it more difficult for Customs to enforce the law. Customs officers immediately arrested the 72-year-old person in charge of the store and seized 1,8 suspected illicit cigarettes with a market value of $6,6 and a taxable value of $4,5.


The batch of suspected illicit cigarettes carried health advice from other countries, including Macao, Taiwan and South Korea, and was mixed with other duty-paid cigarettes. (Photo by Leung Wai Kuen)

It is learnt that the sale price of the batch of illicit cigarettes is cheaper than the market price, and even lower than the tax price. The store has been in operation for more than half a year, but it remains to be investigated when the illicit cigarettes were sold. Customs will trace the source of illicit cigarettes.

Customs appeals to members of the public to purchase cigarettes from reputable shops and to pay attention to the health advice mark on the packaging. Customs stresses that the sale and purchase of illicit cigarettes is also an offence. Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, any person who handles, possesses, sells or buys illicit cigarettes commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $100,24,<> and imprisonment for two years. Members of the public can call the Customs' <>-hour hotline or report suspected illicit cigarette activities by email.

Customs officers arrested a 72-year-old person in charge of Stores, and seized 1,8 suspected illicit cigarettes with a market value of $6,6 and a taxable value of $4,5. (Photo by Leung Wai Kuen)