A CONTAINER filled with cigarettes imported from China was stolen from the port in Port of Spain on Monday.
A Port Authority worker has since been detained by senior Customs and Excise officers and a search was mounted for a Customs clerk who has gone into hiding.
On Monday, according to police, the Customs clerk and the Port Authority worker used false documents to clear the container which was later driven off the port compound.
The container was discovered missing after the person who imported the cigarettes turned up to clear it, but it was nowhere to be found.
However, Customs and Excise officers found it had already been cleared by the Customs clerk who is now in hiding.
This prompted an immediate investigation and the port worker was taken into custody.
Sources said this is not the first time that containers of cigarettes imported from China have gone missing. They believe because imported cigarettes attract a lot of taxes, unscrupulous businessmen bribe Customs clerks to clear these containers with false documents.
Investigations are continuing.