AUSTRALIAN Border Force officers have detected and seized 660 kilograms of chewing and loose leaf tobacco, while also arresting a man allegedly involved in a smuggling attempt.
According to the ABF, the detection was the result of an international referral.
On 14 April 2020 ABF searched 33 boxes within a container from India and found more than 73 kilograms of chewing tobacco and 587 kilograms of loose leaf tobacco.
Officers from ABF Regional Investigations in South Australia then raided five premises across South Australia, including two residences and three businesses resulting in a further seizure of about 300 kilograms of tobacco.
More than half a million dollars was also seized.
The duty evaded on the attempted import is more than $848,000.
Superintendent of the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce Leo Lahey said the arrest sent a clear message.
“People often think they can send illicit goods through the border by hiding them in other legal goods,” Superintendent Lahey said.
“The ABF’s highly skilled officers, intelligence and sophisticated technology ensures illicit goods are detected and work towards prosecuting those responsible for these importations.”
The maximum penalty for importing tobacco products with intent to defraud the Commonwealth Government of revenue is 10 years jail.
The ABF is continuing to investigate.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the ABF’s Border Watch at www.abf.gov.au/borderwatch