Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shipping Container Seized After Examination In Hong Kong

Eight and a Half Million Contraband Cigarettes Impounded
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – Reports from Hong Kong state that a standard X-Ray inspection of a forty foot container supposedly containing ovens, revealed a stash of over $2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes consigned for shipment to the UK.

Details are somewhat sketchy but no arrests have been made and it seems that the seizure came about after a joint operation which suggests the authorities may have been acting on information received.Customs however deny this and claim they recognised that the density of the image produced by the X –Ray equipment at the Customs Cargo Examination Compound, River Trade Terminal, Tuen Mun, was not compatible with the container goods manifest. Upon opening the box they discovered 852 cartons and not the declared goods.

The potential duty on the shipment is around $1.3 million and the goods were seized after arriving on an incoming domestic trade freighter from Huangpu Port, Guangzhou on Sunday. Transhipment is seen by smugglers as a less hazardous route for their own security but increases the risk of discovery of the illicit goods. In Hong Kong the penalty for involvement in smuggling a consignment similar to the latest seizure is up to two years imprisonment plus a fine up to $1 million.