Huge haul of illegal cigarettes seized

More than 10 million illegally imported cigarettes have been seized in a sea cargo container destined for a Sydney address.

Customs intercepted the haul in the container of ceramic tiles after an X-ray identified anomalies.

Officers discovered it was filled with numerous cartons, estimated to contain over 10 million cigarettes.

This represents almost $4 million in evaded revenue, Customs said in a statement today.

Customs and Border Protection national manager of investigations, Kingsley Woodford-Smith, said the smuggling of tobacco was a serious crime.

He said amendments to the Customs Act had increased the maximum penalty for smuggling such goods.

Criminals now face up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine equalling five times the duty evaded, or both.

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