The Illicit Tobacco Taskforce continues to detect and seize shipments of black market cigarettes attempting to be smuggled across the border.
Between 21-25 September 2019 three separate detections were made in air cargo consignments from South Korea, totalling over 600,000 cigarettes with an estimated evaded duty of more than half a million dollars.
X-ray examinations revealed the cigarettes, which were all addressed to fake business names.
ABF Commander Special Investigations, Susan Black, said the number of detections in such close proximity to each other showed that criminal groups were trying their luck to by-pass border controls.
“All of these consignments were addressed to businesses with misleading names to try and avoid detection by the ABF,” Commander Black said.
“The fact that there were three detections from the same origin in such close proximity to each other indicates that these criminals were hoping that just one of them might slip through”.
“The ABF’s advanced x-ray capabilities mean that our highly-trained officers can see further into each shipment and identify illicit items within.”
ABF officers have seized more than 123 tonnes of illicit tobacco at the border in just two months, after new regulations came into effect declaring the commodity a prohibited import.
Commander Black said these recent seizures demonstrate the impermeable nature of Australia’s ports and the vigilance of ABF officers inspecting goods being shipped across the border by air and by sea.
“If you try your luck smuggling illicit tobacco into Australia by using different creative names and clever packaging, it will make no difference, if it’s coming across our border we will detect it.”
People with information about the people who may be importing illicit tobacco should contact Border Watch by going to Australia.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.