A FREIGHT freight forwarder who was jailed for importing 100,000 cigarettes into Australia has been fined $20,000 for smuggling 7,000 liters of alcohol in the same shipping container.
The man, a South Korean national, was charged after Australian Border Force found 500 cartons of cigarettes and 999 boxes of Korean alcohol in a container arriving at the port of Fremantle in September 2021.
The container was delivered from the port of Fremantle to an industrial unit in Welshpool, where the offender was located.
ABF Superintendent Clinton Sims said the man took advantage of his position as a registered freight forwarder – and his access to the ABF’s integrated cargo system – to smuggle the goods into the country.
“He abused his position of trust by accessing the cargo system to monitor the arrival and processing of the shipping container, which the ABF will not tolerate,” Mr Sims said.
“Malicious insiders who misuse systems that otherwise help support legitimate Australian business commerce will find themselves in court.”
The imported cigarettes represented a total of $123,095 in defrauded revenue for the Commonwealth, when customs duties and GST are calculated.
The man was sentenced to nine months in prison for the offense of illicit tobacco in April this year. He pleaded guilty to the offense of smuggling alcohol in Perth Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The maximum penalty for smuggling dutiable goods such as alcohol is a fine of five times the duty that would have been payable had the goods been declared for domestic consumption, or more than $500,000.
The maximum penalty for importing tobacco products contrary to the Customs Act of 1901 is 10 years imprisonment or a fine of five times the duty which would have been due on the goods if they had been declared.