Smuggled cigarettes worth NT$43 million seized in Taichung, New Taipei

Taipei, The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) has seized two shipments of smuggled cigarettes in Taichung and New Taipei with a total market value of NT$43 million (US$1.42 million), coast guard officials said Monday.

Based on a tip-off, coast guard officials in Tainan became suspicious when they found that a Taiwan-registered cargo ship that usually travels between Kaohsiung and Japan departed from Keelung Port Saturday but applied to enter Taichung Port Sunday under the pretext of maintenance and resupply, said Ou Ling-jia (???), head of the central branch of the CGA.

Because the ship did not travel on its regular route and applied to enter another port shortly after departure, the Tainan coast guard officials suspected the ship might be involved in smuggling, and formed a team of coast guard officers from several counties to investigate.

Coast guard officers ordered the four containers aboard the ship to be opened for inspection when it arrived at Taichung Port early Monday, Ou said.

The containers were found to contain about 79,900 cartons of untaxed cigarettes with an estimated market value of NT$35 million, according to Ou.

Meanwhile, the northern branch of the CGA seized 9,447 cartons of smuggled cigarettes worth NT$8 million at Yanliao beach in New Taipei's Gongliao District Sunday, which were believed to have been unloaded from two fishing boats, according to New Taipei coast guard officers.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel