Almost 80,000 illegal cigarettes found hidden on boat in Taichung Harbor, Taiwan

Authorities were alerted to the ship after an unscheduled maintenance stop and an anonymous tip-off

Coast Guard officials at Taichung Harbor

Coast Guard officials at Taichung Harbor (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Coast Guard found 79,900 contraband cigarettes on a cargo ship that docked in Taichung Harbor (臺中港) for so-called maintenance today, reported CNA.

1,598 cases of Chinese-branded cigarettes were found in four shipping containers.

The goods have a market value of approximately NT$35 million (US$1.15 million), according to authorities.

The Chinese-registered cargo ship named "Yongshun No. 2" (永順2號) was searched by the Coast Guard after both an anonymous tip-off and a report of suspicious activity by port authorities.

Yongshun No. 2 requested to dock in Taichung port for maintenance yesterday, June 24 despite setting out from Keelung Harbor (基隆港) a day earlier.

The unplanned stop in Taichung led to a joint investigation by four local Coast Guard squadrons in conjunction with the Coast Guard's search and seizure squadron.

The incident is currently under investigation and it is expected that charges will be laid under the Tobacco and Alcohol Administration Act.