A MAN has been arrested and charged with illegally importing more than 1.2 tonnes of molasses tobacco into Australia.
Australian Border Force officers intercepted the shipment on 24 October. They say more than 1.2 tonnes of molasses tobacco worth up to half-a-million-dollars was found concealed in 69 cardboard boxes.
The shipment was secreted in a container labelled “bags” which had arrived from China.
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Following investigations, detectives arrested a 33-year-old man in Condell Park on Saturday 29 October. Officers also executed a search warrant, during which it’s alleged they located and seized $18,000 in cash.
The 33-year-old man was charged under Section 233BABAD(1) and (2) of the Customs Act 1901, for smuggling, conveying and being in possession of tobacco products.
He appeared in Parramatta Local Court on 30 October where he was granted conditional bail to appear again at Downing Centre Local Court on 3 November.
Acting Assistant Commissioner, Anthony Seebach, said the operation was a clear example of the tireless work ABF officers undertake on a daily basis to stop people illegally smuggling tobacco.
“Smuggling tobacco is a serious offence and if convicted penalties can range from large fines to up to 10 years in prison,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Seebach said.
“The ABF is deploying an increasing amount of resources to target those seeking to smuggle tobacco into Australia including expanding our successful Tobacco Strike Team; we are focussed on exposing those organised crime syndicates looking to smuggle illicit tobacco across the border and into the black market.”