New Zealand national refused entry for tobacco smuggling

A 23-year-old New Zealand national has been refused entry to Australia after being caught by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers attempting to smuggle 54 kilograms of undeclared molasses tobacco through Perth International Airport.

The man arrived on a flight from Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Sunday, 9 December) and was subjected to a full baggage examination during which ABF officers located 54 one kilogram packets of molasses tobacco in two suitcases and a backpack.

The duty evaded on the tobacco is calculated at $58,122.90 plus GST of $5,866.29.

The maximum allowance for tobacco being brought into Australia is 25 grams, plus an open packet, for each traveller over the age of 18.

The man’s visa was cancelled and he was removed on a flight back to Kuala Lumpur this morning.

ABF Regional Commander for WA, Rod O’Donnell, said ABF officers are alert to people attempting to bring more than their duty free allowance of tobacco and cigarettes across the border.

“ABF officers based at Australian airports have the commitment and the means to detect smuggled tobacco and cigarettes, and the consequences for those caught can be severe,” Commander O’Donnell said.

“In this man’s case, he is now subject to a three year exclusion from applying for certain visas for Australia.

“Tobacco smuggling is one of the ABF’s operational priorities, whether it be by organised crime syndicates or individual profiteers,” Commander O’Donnell said.

Last financial year the ABF made more than 110,000 detections of illicit tobacco at the border, including almost 240 million cigarettes and 217 tonnes of tobacco, worth more than $356 million in evaded duty.

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