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On August 30, 2019, the Bureau of Customs & Border Protection was able to dispose of seized /confiscated cigarettes and tobacco that were held in storage from March 01,2018 till the June of this year. There were about 128.60 kilos of assorted cigarettes (588 cartons) and Loose Tobacco.

The duty on the cigarettes and tobacco was estimated at $34,826.78.The cigarettes and tobacco that was confiscated or seized by Customs were mostly from the airport in which the duty was not paid by passengers or the items were undeclared.

What’s interesting is that in the past it would normally take hours or the whole day to cut, burn and/ or dispose of the cigarettes and tobacco. However, after trying to find alternate ways to dispose of such items, a simple solution was to seek assistance from the Bureau of Public Works that operate at the National Landfill to utilize their giant shredding machine that is normally used for old tires.

Customs was able to observe and ensure that all the cigarettes and tobacco was loaded into the giant shredding machine, transferred on a conveyor belt that transferred all the cigarettes and tobacco inside the dumptruck and disposed of in the landfill.

The shredding process took about 5 minutes to include being loaded into the dumptruck and did not present any health risks to our employees and staff. According to Chief Mersai who supervised and witnessed the operation along with the other Customs Officers, this was the most efficient and effective was to destroy both the cigarettes and tobacco especially when considering that burning would cause pollution and health concerns for our environment and staff. Customs would like to thank the staff from the National Landfill for their assistance. (PR)