A Customs and Border Protection investigation has resulted in a Bankstown man being convicted and penalised over $11.4 million for cigarette and tobacco smuggling offences.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus said the result was a warning that cigarette and tobacco smuggling was a serious offence.
"This is criminal activity that denies the Commonwealth of legitimate revenue that could be used to fund new schools, roads and hospitals.
"The result is a sign of the ongoing success of Customs and Border Protection’s campaign against tobacco smuggling."
Ramez Nabhan was convicted yesterday in the Supreme Court of New South Wales for illegally importing cigarettes and tobacco in four separate shipments between 12 November 2006 and 10 January 2007.
In total, 12,592 kilograms of tobacco and more than one million cigarettes were illegally imported.
Customs and Border Protection officers stopped and searched four separate sea cargo consignments from China and Indonesia when they arrived at the Sydney Container Examination Facility during late 2006 and early 2007.
Upon inspection, the shipments were found to contain loose leaf and manufactured tobacco and concealed cigarettes.
Customs and Border Protection charged Nabhan with four counts of smuggling goods and four counts of evading payment of duty.
He was ordered to pay a penalty of $8,100,000 plus $3,395,709.92 in reparation to the Commonwealth and ordered to pay court costs.