Chinese with contraband fined K40,000

A man from the Fujian province in China, who pleaded guilty in court last month for being in possession of counterfeit cigarettes, has been fined K40,000.

The Waigani District Court, in issuing the fine, gave the man 7 days to pay or face jail time of 4 years with hard labour.

Instances of smuggled goods and fake products is becoming rampant in the country, where the state loses out in revenue that should be paid in taxes and customs duties.

Recently the state was defrauded revenue of more than K1.7 million in duties and tax, when Lin Zhong, a man from Fujian province, smuggled and was found in possession of 418 cartons of double happiness cigarettes in a 20ft container.

The container was discovered at the Nine-Mile plaza in Port Moresby on the 7th of September, 2018.

Zhong was arrested and charged on 16th of January, 2019, for being in possession of smuggled goods, namely contraband double happiness cigarettes, valued at K4.18 million.

The container had false declaration on customs clearance, with a consignment to have contained dishcloths, toilet paper and plastic snack box, among others.

In handing down the court’s ruling against Zhong on Friday, Magistrate Cosmas Bidar recommended for further investigation to include the importer and customs tariff agent and customs officers who were on duty at the time.

He imposed a penalty fine of K40,000, payable within 7 days or face four years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

He said such sentences imposed by the courts should send a clear message that foreigners doing business in PNG should respect and comply with the laws of the host country.

The copy of the court’s orders will be served to the Immigration and Citizenship Authority for its own purposes. 

This follows the recent request by Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, for law enforcement agencies dealing with non-citizens who commit offences in the country to involve Immigration.

Kantha said non-citizens who do not comply with the laws of the country will not have their visa status reviewed.


Sally Pokiton