Port authorities seize, destroy 640,000 smuggled cigarette packs
Port authorities said Wednesday they have seized and destroyed around 640,000 trafficked cigarette packs worth 2.8 billion won (US$2.8 million), marking the largest bust in trafficked cigarettes in the Busan region.
The Busan Main Customs office said they have arrested and forwarded to prosecutors an unidentified suspect for allegedly smuggling in 640,000 South Korean-made cigarette packs exported to Southeast Asian countries.
The cigarettes were purchased in Vietnam and Thailand and shipped to Cambodia before being disguised as luxury travel bags as transshipment cargo bound for China via Busan, according to the customs officials. Authorities said they are in pursuit of an accomplice still at large.
The office said the suspects committed the massive trafficking to capitalize on the substantial price gap between cigarettes for domestic consumption and exports.