Lok Wah Estate in Ngau Tau Kok, Kowloon Photo: Google Maps

Customs officers believe they have smashed a storage and distribution center for contraband cigarettes after arresting a Hong Kong woman of South Asian origin with a stash at a public housing estate in Kowloon on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old woman’s apartment at Lok Wah Estate in Ngau Tau Kok contained 17,000 cigarettes with an estimated market value of HK$50,000 (US$6,371), the Oriental Daily reported. If they had been solid legitimately, duty of HK$35,000 would have been paid.

Officers said the illicit cigarettes were divided into various batches for sale and they believed that they had busted a storage center and  distribution point for buyers in the district.

They said the woman, who holds a Hong Kong ID card, probably sold the cigarettes on her own without the involvement of triads. She had only sold the cigarettes to people whom she knew.

Read: Couple arrested at HK airport for smuggling cigarettes