20 Million Cigarettes Seized in Joint Australian-Taiwanese Operation

From: Australian Border Force

20 million cigarettes seized in international operation

More than 20 million illicit cigarettes have been seized after a joint operation between the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Taiwan Customs Administration.

Earlier this month, the ABF Tobacco Strike Team (TST) identified two sea cargo containers of interest being shipped from Vietnam to Taiwan that were bound for Australia.

Investigations by the TST and Taiwan Customs revealed the containers contained 20,100,000 illicit cigarettes. The containers were unloaded and the cigarettes were seized by Taiwan Customs.

ABF Assistant Commissioner Enforcement Command, Sharon Huey, said the operation would have significant disruption effects for the illicit tobacco market in Australia.

“These cigarettes are worth about $14.2 million dollars in evaded revenue and had they made it into the Australia market without duty being paid, that money would likely flow straight to other criminal pursuits,” Assistant Commissioner Huey said.

“The ABF works closely with our international partners to target illicit tobacco imports, particularly those with a high-value of revenue evaded and those with links to serious criminal actors.”

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