Men accused of smuggling cigarettes

TWO men accused of smuggling millions of cigarettes through the Port of Felixstowe are remanded in custody today.Chinese nationals Kok Kit Wong and Weng Lai are facing a charge of fraudulently evading duty on the contraband.

TWO men accused of smuggling millions of cigarettes through the Port of Felixstowe are remanded in custody today.

Chinese nationals Kok Kit Wong and Weng Lai are facing a charge of fraudulently evading duty on the contraband.

Ipswich-based customs officers from the national investigation service arrested the pair after 2,980,000 cigarettes were brought into Felixstowe on a container ship.

They are believed to have been imported in a container from China under the guise of a cover load.

Although it is thought the cigarettes had a Marlborough brand on them, it is not known whether they were genuine or counterfeit.

The revenue value of the illegal cargo that would have been due to the government is estimated at around £400,000.

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Wong, 39, and Lai, both of Hollington Road, East Ham, were arrested by customs officers in the Norwich area on July 7.

The contraband is believed to have arrived in Suffolk a few days earlier.

An interpreter was used to translate the proceedings against them into Mandarin and Cantonese when the men appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich.

No pleas were entered on behalf of either defendant during the short hearing.

An application for bail was made on behalf of Lai, however chairman of the bench Jim Wyllie turned down the request.

There was no application for bail on behalf of Wong.

Both men were remanded into custody until their next appearance before the same court on September 18.

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