In the first case, the offender was apprehended entering the Cook Islands at the Rarotonga International Airport with 10 times the duty free limit of tobacco concealed in his belongings.
The offender had defrauded approximately $2,000 in duty and value added tax. He was sentenced by Justice Potter to 18 months of probation, nine months community service, and ordered to attend any workshop or training recommended by the probation officer and he cannot leave the Cook Islands without approval of the Cook Island High Court during the duration of his sentence.
In the other case, the offender imported from New Zealand two firearms and 4500 rounds of ammunition without a firearms permit.
The firearms and ammunition were concealed together with other personal belongings, and were not declared on the import entry documentation provided to Customs. The offender was sentenced to a fine of $3000, 12 months of probation and six months of community service.
The Comptroller of Customs, Mr Xavier Mitchell, stated “these prosecutions demonstrate that Customs and the Court take breaches of the Customs legislation seriously. It also sends a strong message that those who engage in
such activities run a serious
risk of being caught and prosecuted.
“I can also indicate that Customs are vigilant of illicit drugs crossing our boarders, and those that engage in importing drugs to the Cook Islands can expect to be prosecuted”.