Taipei--A man lost nearly NT$100,000 (US$3,291) after he was caught attempting to bring 54 cartons of cigarettes into Taiwan, Taipei Customs officers said Saturday.
The man, 33, surnamed Chen, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from Osaka and was found to have carried 54 cartons of Seven Stars cigarettes in his luggage.
According to customs declaration regulations, each passenger is only allowed one carton of cigarettes (which is usually 10 packs, with 20 cigarettes per pack). Additional cartons will be confiscated and the violator fined NT$500 for each one, meaning that Chen will have to pay a fine of NT$26,500 in addition to his loss of the cigarettes.
Customs officials said the man was a tour leader, meaning that he could not possibly be unaware of the regulations regarding cigarettes.
Duty free shops at the airport speculated that the man was trying to earn some extra money after local cigarette prices spiked due to Taiwan's implementation of a "health tax" on cigarettes.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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