The Negligible Penalties for Tobacco Trafficking

From: Australian Government | Department of Border Protection

$55,000 fine over tobacco filled suitcases

A 38-year-old man from Banora Point in northern NSW has been fined more than $55,000 for smuggling 19,200 sticks of cigarettes and 400g of tobacco through Perth International Airport in March 2017.

After arriving on a flight from Denpasar, Indonesia, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers conducted an examination of the man’s two suitcases which were found to contain various brands of cigarettes and loose tobacco.

The man appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on 21 September where he was charged with one count of importing goods being tobacco products, with the intention of defrauding the revenue, contrary to section 233BABAD(1) of the Customs Act 1901.

He was also charged with smuggling goods, evading payment of duty on those goods and making a false or misleading statement to an officer in contravention of section 234(1)(d)(I) of the Act.

ABF A/g Regional Commander WA, Martin Davies, said that the ABF is successfully disrupting the supply of illicit tobacco at the border, including at international airports.

“Anyone thinking of attempting to bring illicit tobacco into Australia this way should be aware that our highly trained ABF officers, detector dogs and world-class x-ray technology mean we are well positioned to detect these imports at our airports,” Commander Davies said.

“As in this case, the fines can be significant.”

People with information about the illicit importation of tobacco should contact Border Watch by going to

By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.


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