Another investigation by the Australian Border Force’s (ABF) Tobacco Strike Team has led to the seizure of 13 million smuggled cigarettes and over eight tonnes of loose leaf tobacco in Melbourne this week.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton today praised the ABF’s Tobacco Strike Team on its latest efforts to prevent the illegal smuggling of tobacco into Australia.
“In the six months since the strike team’s inception, it has seized more than 13 tonnes of smuggled tobacco and 48 million smuggled cigarettes, including the significant seizures this week,” Mr Dutton said.
These seizures are just part of the Tobacco Strike Team’s current investigations, which relate to the suspected evasion of over $80 million in tobacco related duties and taxes.
Mr Dutton said that the establishment of the Tobacco Strike Team is reflective of the Government’s commitment to clamping down on the illicit tobacco trade.
“The Australian community should be aware that we are successfully disrupting the supply of illicit tobacco and dismantling the criminal syndicates that support it,” Mr Dutton said.
“We are determined to reduce the availability of illicit tobacco in the Australian marketplace. The sale of these products not only funds organised crime but also diverts money away from government programmes intended to support the Australian community.”