May 9, 2019
Eight Chinese nationals were caught at Melbourne Airport while trying to bring in large amounts of undeclared cigarettes.
The group arrived at the airport on a flight from Hong Kong on 6 May 2019. Australian Border Force (ABF) officers found 177,063 cigarettes in their luggage which is worth more than $160,000 in evaded duty.
The visas of all eight would-be travellers were cancelled by ABF officers and they were taken to the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation pending their removal from Australia.
“People may think bringing in undeclared tobacco is harmless, but this trade has a massive cost on the Australian economy and those caught deliberately evading duty should expect to face fines, removal from Australia or even prosecution”, ABF Regional Commander Craig Palmer said.
“If you are travelling to Australia with cigarettes or other tobacco products the message is simple; declare it and pay the duty required”, Palmer continued.
New tobacco import requirements have come into effect from 1 July 2019 in Australia. It requires consumers and importers to get permit to import tobacco legally into Australia.