An ABF operation has resulted in investigators charging a 26-year-old man with illegally importing more than one million cigarettes, with a potential street value of up to $1.2 million and up to $603,000 in duty evaded.
Australian Border Force (ABF) officers targeted 17 pallets that arrived from Hong Kong for inspection in August 2016. The boxes, labelled as porcelain tiles, contained more than one million sticks of ‘Brass’ brand cigarettes.
A container was delivered to a self-storage unit in Greenacre on 22 August. Shortly after, ABF investigators arrested the man and charged him with smuggling tobacco under section 233BABAD of the Customs Act 1901.
On 31 August 2016, ABF investigators executed warrants on several residences in Greenacre and Belmore with the assistance of NSW Police Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad officers. Following the execution of these warrants, about 100 steroid tablets were seized as well as six firearms for licensing breaches.
The 26-year-old was granted conditional bail and will face Bankstown Local Court on 7 September 2016.
ABF Commander Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Anthony Seebach, said this operation and subsequent arrest is another clear example of the tireless work ABF officers undertake to ensure those responsible for tobacco smuggling, which denies the Commonwealth important revenue, are stopped.
“This operation reinforces our message that the ABF will actively investigate and charge people who attempt to smuggle illicit tobacco across the border,” Commander Seebach said.
“We will continue to prevent, deter, detect and disrupt those who attempt to import illicit tobacco into Australia.”