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Man, 28, is charged with smuggling almost $8 million worth of illegal cigarettes into Western Australia in record seizure

  • A man from Morley, Perth, tried to smuggle 9.5M cigarettes to Australia
  • Police seized 47,500 cartons of cigarettes at a container examination facility
  • The cigarettes were from South East Asia and worth almost $8M in evaded duty

A man, 28, has been charged with attempting to smuggle 9.5 million cigarettes in Western Australia – a record bust in the state.

Police recently seized 47,500 cartons of cigarettes at a container examination facility in Fremantle, Western Australia on October 31.

The cigarettes, which were made in South East Asia, were worth $7.6 million in evaded duty, according to police.

A man, 28, (pedicured) has been arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle 9.5 million cigarettes in Western Australia 

A man, 28, (pedicured) has been arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle 9.5 million cigarettes in Western Australia

 Police recently seized 47,500 cartons (pictured) of cigarettes at a container examination facility in Fremantle, Western Australia

Police recently seized 47,500 cartons (pictured) of cigarettes at a container examination facility in Fremantle, Western Australia

Last week, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers searched two homes, a tobacco shop and storage room linked to the tobacco bust in Morley, Perth where 31,000 additional cigarettes were found.

A man, from Morley, was later arrested and charged with one count of illegally importing the tobacco with the intention of defrauding the revenue.

The 28-year-old appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court last Saturday and was granted conditional bail to reappear in court this Friday.

The cigarettes were identified after the 40-foot container was x-rayed by Border Force police.

According to the ABF, a detector dog also gave a reaction indicating the presence of tobacco.

ABF Regional Commander for WA Rod O’Donnell said the detection was the biggest supply of illicit tobacco in the state’s history.

In a statement he said: ‘This is by far the biggest illicit cigarette seizure made in WA. Importantly, we’ve been able to prevent the Commonwealth being defrauded of more than $7.66 million in legitimate revenue.’

The maximum penalty for tobacco smuggling is 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to five times the amount of duty evaded.

The cigarettes were identified after the 40-foot container was x-rayed (pictured) by Border Force police

The cigarettes were identified after the 40-foot container was x-rayed (pictured) by Border Force police

The cigarettes were made in South East Asia and worth $7.6 million in evaded duty, according to police
The cigarettes were worth $7.6 million in evaded duty, according to police
The cigarettes were made in South East Asia and worth $7.6 million in evaded duty, according to police

For the 7.66 million worth of evaded duty, the man risks a maximum fine of more than $38 million.

In Australia, the illicit tobacco market is worth about $600 million a year in evaded revenue.

Commander Rod O’Donnell said: ‘Illicit tobacco is an international issue, with much of the profits from cigarettes sold illegally in Australia being used to fund other criminal activity both here and overseas.

‘The ABF is committed to working with our international partners to detect, investigate and disrupt those involved in the illegal tobacco trade – and to stop the profits from these smuggling operations from funding further criminal activity.’

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