A 27-year-old Indian man was arrested by police for possession of illicit cigarettes in Kowloon’s Sham Shui Po on Thursday.

Under a police operation named “Thunderbolt 18”, officers of South Asian origin were deployed to raid to an apartment on 248 Yu Chau Street at 5.30pm and confiscated 34,000 illicit cigarettes, Oriental Daily reported.

The estimated market value of the seized cigarettes was put at HK$85,000 (US$10,829), while their duty “potential” was HK$65,000.

The man is an asylum seeker with a triad background. Police believed that he is the person in charge of the storage center.

Officers recently found sales of illicit cigarettes on streets around the Pei Ho Street Market and the Cooked Food Center in Sham Shui Po.