Wed, Dec 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung customs finds NT$25 million worth of cigarettes

SMUGGLING:A recent review of shipping lists raised customs’ suspicions about a container being shipped from Busan port marked as printing paper

Staff writer, with CNA, Kaohsiung

A shipping container of smuggled cigarettes estimated to have a market value of about NT$25 million (US$833,528) was yesterday seized at the Port of Kaohsiung, customs officers said.

A recent review of shipping lists raised suspicions about a container being shipped from South Korea’s Busan Port and registered as newspaper printing paper for delivery to a newly established company, they said.

Customs officers together with agents from the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau ordered the container opened for inspection when it arrived at Kaohsiung Port.

The 40-foot shipping container was found to contain about 500,000 packs of cigarettes — including popular brands “Maple” and “King” — and were worth an estimated NT$25 million.

Several shipments of smuggled cigarettes have been seized at the port since October.

On Oct. 12, customs officers seized 11,300 boxes of smuggled cigarettes worth about NT$250 million, and on the following day intercepted a shipment of 900 boxes valued at NT$20 million, customs officers said.

On Oct. 17, a shipment of smuggled cigarettes valued at about NT$20 million was uncovered, they said.

The Ministry of Finance and other central and local government agencies on Oct. 20 last year adopted tougher measures to combat cigarette and tobacco smuggling in anticipation that a law increasing the health surcharge on cigarettes by NT$20 to NT$31.8 per pack in June that year would spur smuggling.

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