Australian Border Force (ABF) investigators have arrested a 26-year-old Chinese man after thousands of importations of illegal cigarettes were tracked to his address.
ABF officers had been detecting several packages arriving everyday through international mail addressed to the individual’s home in Strathfield. Each package contained one to three cartons of cigarettes.
On Tuesday 19 September 2017, officers executed a search warrant on the man’s home, after he was observed receiving seven shipments from an Australia Post delivery driver.
During the search of the property, ABF investigators uncovered more than 750 individual cartons of cigarettes believed to have been illegally imported. The duty and GST payable for just one carton of 200 cigarettes is approximately $150. The estimated duty and GST evaded for the cigarettes seized is more than $112,000.
Investigators also seized several electronic devices and more than $15,000 in cash, believed to be from the sale of illegal cigarettes.
The man was charged with importing tobacco products with the intention of defrauding revenue, in contravention of section 233BABAD of the Customs Act 1901.
The man appeared at Burwood local court on Wednesday 20 September 2017 and did not apply for bail, he is scheduled to appear at Burwood local court on 25 September 2017.
ABF Superintendent Investigations NSW, Garry Low said those attempting to import multiple packages containing small quantities of tobacco or cigarettes should know the ABF is aware of their activities.
“ABF investigators are aware of importers using different methods in attempts to circumvent the border. These people should know they will be stopped and brought before the courts.”
“People who use these methods to avoid paying duty and GST face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to five times the total duty evaded.”
Source: Australian Government