15 Jul 2016

American Samoa customs nab smoke smuggler

10:33 am on 15 July 2016

180 cartons of undeclared cigarettes, mostly Asian made brands, have been confiscated by American Samoa customs agents off an Asian fishing boat.

Since the excise tax for cigarettes went up a year ago the customs division says it has been vigilant in inspecting all incoming vessels for contraband material.

The Chief of Customs, Moetului Sipili Fuiava, says excise per carton is $US60 dollars, making the total excise from 180 cartons $10,800.

He says whether the boat owner is charged or not is up to the attorney general's office.

Under American Samoa law anyone failing to pay excise for cigarettes could be fined as much as $1,000 for each cigarette.

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Photo: 123RF