The destruction exercise was carried out just outside Port Moresby in the presence of customs, police and health workers from NCDC (food sanitation).

“Six containers in total, three of 40 feet and three of 20 feet, were seized from eight different importers for various violations of the Customs Act relating to smuggling, tax evasion and infringement of rights. intellectual property.

“The total tax value of all the destroyed cargo is over K 30 million. These containers were seized between 2018 and 2020,” said Chief Customs Commissioner David Towe.

He confirmed that the combined contents of the six containers included 6,200 cartons of assorted cigarettes and illicit tobacco products, 5,400 assorted cartons of alcoholic products and some jewelry items.

Mr Towe said the seizures were the result of strict compliance and border customs enforcement that detected non-compliant imports.

The goods became unfit for human consumption and destroyed under the supervision of law enforcement officials.

He explained that the PNG Customs Service has recently stepped up its crackdown on transnational criminals and their illicit business activities.

Various enforcement and compliance strategies have been launched targeting trends and techniques employed by non-compliant traders, especially those involved in tax evasion through the importation, manufacture and distribution of products. highly taxable and subject to excise duties such as cigarettes and tobacco and alcohol products.

“The proactive approaches taken by the Customs leadership team and hard-working frontline Customs officers at the border have recently resulted in an increase in the detection, detention and seizure of large numbers of goods from contraband and unpaid goods. “

“Customs maintain a strong position to take back PNG, eliminate corruption, improve performance and productivity, put in place strong law enforcement and border control systems to end tax evasion, smuggling and the illegal production and distribution of contraband goods and illicit business activities. ”

Mr. Towe warned importers and exporters to comply with customs laws or suffer the consequences.

With recent changes to the Customs Law of 1951 (amended) by Parliament in November 2020, which significantly increased penalties and fines for violating various customs laws, Customs expects greater compliance. voluntary from all stakeholders.

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