An Australian Border Force (ABF) operation has resulted in investigators charging a 33-year-old man with illegally importing more than 1.2 tonnes of molasses tobacco with a potential street value of up to $500,000 and more than $1 million in duty evaded.
On 24 October, ABF officers targeted a container that arrived from China for inspection. The container, labelled as ‘bags’, contained more than 1.2 tonnes of molasses tobacco concealed in 69 cardboard boxes.
On 29 October, ABF investigators executed warrants and arrested the man in Condell Park, NSW. Following the execution of these warrants, ABF officers also located and seized $18,000 in cash.
The man appeared in Parramatta Local Court on 30 October and was granted conditional bail. The man was due to appear again at Downing Centre Local Court on 3 November.
Acting Assistant Commissioner, Anthony Seebach, said this operation is a clear example of the tireless work ABF officers undertake on a daily basis to stop people illegally smuggling tobacco.
“Smuggling tobacco is a serious offence and if convicted penalties can range from large fines to up to 10 years in prison,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Seebach said.
“The ABF is deploying an increasing amount of resources to target those seeking to smuggle tobacco into Australia including expanding our successful Tobacco Strike Team; we are focussed on exposing those organised crime syndicates looking to smuggle illicit tobacco across the border and into the black market.”
The 33-year-old man was charged under Section 233BABAD(1) and (2) of the Customs Act 1901, for smuggling, conveying and being in possession of tobacco products.
Molasses tobacco was also smuggled into Perth recently. Check out the article here.