Customs officers have seized smuggled cigarettes with an estimated value of HK$18 million from a container vessel in Kwai Chung in the biggest seizure of its kind this year. Officers found 1,292 boxes containing 13 million cigarettes inside two Europe-bound cargo containers from Malaysia. 'We inspected the cargo because we found it very suspicious,' Chiu Bit-yuen, the deputy head of the Customs and Excise Department's revenue and general investigation bureau, said yesterday. The two containers were reported as containing wooden furniture. 'Many of the goods from Malaysia are rubber or other raw materials, not furniture,' Mr Chiu said. Officers inspected both containers with X-ray machines inside the customs building in Kwai Chung on Friday. They found several wooden chairs inside, but also boxes of cigarettes, all of them brands popular in Europe. Mr Chiu said that while the cigarettes sold for about HK$10 a pack in Malaysia, they fetched more than HK$70 a pack in Europe. He added that it was the biggest seizure of contraband cigarettes in the city this year. A 36-year-old director of a transport company responsible for the containers was arrested. More arrests may be made as the investigation continues, customs officials said. Mr Chiu said there had been a number of similar smuggling cases in the city in recent years.