Customs seize undeclared R22 gas cylinders

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) Customs Border Maritime Compliance Team intercepted the gas cylinders - which is said to be an Ozone depleting substance. Picture: SUPPLIED/FRCS

FIFTY undeclared R22 gas cylinders were seized by Customs from a fishing vessel at Suva Wharf yesterday in an attempted smuggling case.

Confirming this late last night, the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) Customs Border Maritime Compliance Team intercepted the gas cylinders – which is said to be an Ozone depleting substance.

The FRCS compliance team noted the vessel was in the Australian EEZ but avoided Australian Border Officials and entered Fiji waters after receiving advance notification.

“This was suspicious and thus the vessel was flagged by our Customs Border Maritime Compliance Team comprising of Customs Officials searched the vessel and was successful in detaining Ozone depleting gas cylinders,” FRCS chief executive officer Visvanath Das said.

“The vessel falsely declared the amount of R22 gas cylinders on board and it was concealed in a manner with a clear intention of smuggling the cylinders,” Mr. Das said.

“I commend the efforts of Customs Border Maritime Compliance Team in detecting the smuggling of the ozone depleting gas,” he said.

Mr Das assured their commitment in supporting the well-being of the environment and working in partnership with relevant stakeholders in combating illegal imports of ozone depleting substances.

The cylinders have been handed over to the Department of Environment.