The containers were seized during a raid at the Motukea International Terminal.
National Drug and Vice Squad (NDVS) members confirmed the products’ authenticity, or rather the lack of it, during a quality check of the containers.
NDVS Sergeant Thomas Moiyang confirmed that the two containers contained a total of 1,454 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes.
Sergeant Moiyang explained that the containers were 40 and 20 footers. The 40 footer contained 1,004 cartons of cigarettes whilst the 20 footer contained 450 cartons.
The containers were confiscated during a raid at PNG Ports on March 2019 and taken to the McGregor Police barracks a month ago where they were kept until opened last Thursday.
He said the containers were allegedly imported from the Philippines by a company based at the Kennedy Estate at Eight-Mile. Furthermore, police allege that the imports were labelled as general goods and building materials.
“It is estimated that the value of the contraband cigarettes will be in the millions,” Sgt Moiyang said, adding that police are still investigating how the containers entered the country and whether the appropriate customs duties and taxes were paid.
The containers were opened and checked together with the staff and members of other agencies such as Customs, Migration office, National Narcotics Bureau, Department of Labour, Magisterial Services, Clerk of Waigani District court, NCDC health and a member of the Manufacturers Council of PNG.
The Police National Drug and Vice Squad members are doing quality checks for two illicit containers containing counterfeit cigarettes at the McGregor Barracks in Port Moresby.