The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia have joined hands to combat the smuggling of illicit tobacco.
The ASEAN-Australia Task Force on Illicit Tobacco or Project Portcullis 2021 was launched to address the global issue. It implemented countermeasures and detected the abuse of transhipment facilities used in smuggling illicit tobacco.
Project Portcullis 2021, initiated by the ASEAN Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG), has been proven effective within its month of action. More than 50 of its referrals have led to the seizure of 19 million sticks of cigarettes being smuggled in the ASEAN region.
It also enabled customs authorities to scrutinize the increased volume of suspicious sea cargo and land border consignments via its “Alert Notification System” designed by CECWG.
Australia vows to continuously work with ASEAN to disrupt organized crimes in the region.