Nearly 400,000 sticks of contraband cigarettes were uncovered in an outbound container in Nansha, a sub-port of China’s Guangzhou port.
Guangzhou customs said on 17 November that on 2 November, inspectors became suspicious as the container was declared to be carrying plastic items, but X-rays indicated the presence of long and bulky objects.
After opening the container, the customs officers found a large number of speakers that were inconsistent with what was declared on the shipment form.
While moving the speakers, the customs officers heard unusual noises coming from them. Upon dismantling the speakers, they were found to be concealing various brands of cigarettes. In total, 1,848 cartons containing 369,600 cigarettes were seized.
It is likely that the cigarettes may have been bound for Hong Kong, which has seen a surge in cigarette smuggling, after the government increased tobacco taxes by HK$12 (US$1.50) in February, causing cigarette prices to climb to HK$78 (US$10) a pack.
Customs officials stated that concealing, falsely declaring or transporting prohibited or restricted goods or items subject to tax, are deemed to be smuggling.