August 06, 2020 13:36

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Chinese Customs clean up ‘luxury’ smugglers

11:35 | 03/08/2016

The General Administration of Customs People’s Republic of China (GACC) has become increasingly successful in its ongoing crackdown on tobacco, liquor and luxurygoods smuggling through airports, ports and international border crossing points.

The GACC points to multiple examples where its officers have confiscated significant quantities of concealed tobacco, liquor, cosmetics and luxurygoods items – particularly watches.

These ongoing efforts also include two separate incidents in the last year where it has confiscated tobacco goods and prosecuted both smugglers and airport staff involved in the incidents.

On May 24, Shanghai Customs announced that its anti-smuggling bureau, Shanghai Public Security Bureau and Shanghai Tobacco Monopoly Bureau cracked a cigarette smuggling ring where individual smugglers colluded with airport staff to bring in the goods.


The most recent case of this nature, which it has publicised, took place last May where Shanghai Customs organised and coordinated an operation to catch smugglers working with ‘airport staff’ employees.

In its report on this incident, the GACC stated: “On May 24, Shanghai Customs announced that its anti-smuggling bureau, along with Shanghai Public Security Bureau and Shanghai Tobacco Monopoly Bureau, took action to crack a cigarette smuggling case in which individual smugglers colluded with airport staff – seizing nearly 4,000 cartons of cigarettes with brands like Mild Seven, Marlboro and PEACE as well as 20 smugglers (16 arrested, 4 released on bail pending trial).”

Hangzhou Customs shows off part of its haul of high end smuggled perfume and cosmetics.

This incident followed yet another involving airport staff in 2015, as the GACC explained: “Last June, Shanghai Customs anti-smuggling department captured a cigarette smuggling gang led by a South Korean, which took advantage of Pudong Airport staff to smuggle cigarettes through the Customs.


“According to this clue, Shanghai Customs carried out follow-up investigation and, through months of probe, another cigarette smuggling gang led by Zhao [the gang leader-Ed] was found out.”

These are just two of several incidents involving smuggling where regional Customs agencies have broken up rings, discovered concealed goods and confiscated them before prosecuting individuals.

For example, last June Hangzhou Customs seized ‘a large number of cosmetics’ into Hangzhou Airport by a Chinese passenger, involving brands such as Dior, Chanel, Lancôme, Estée Lauder.

Gongbei Customs intercepted this – and other consignments of wines and spirits – which smugglers tried to bring into China without permissions or any intention of paying the appropriate duties.


Meanwhile, Gongbei Customs intercepted a large consignment of ‘high-end wine’ being smuggled into the country just a month earlier.

The Gongbei Customs Anti-Smuggling Department also launched anti-smuggling campaigns simultaneously at Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Guangzhou and also Shanghai, leading to the capture of three gangs and the arrest of 15 individuals.

They were all charged with attempting to smuggle in wines and spirits for ‘customers’ all over the country, including leading brands of prestige spirits such as Hennessy XO, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and others.

Shenzhen Customs in the Shenzhen Bay Port with part of a large number of luxury watches confiscated from smugglers last May.

Source: Trbusiness