Hong Kong Customs recently launched a joint anti-smuggling operation with Guangdong Sub-Administration of the People's Republic of China, Customs and smashed an ivory smuggling case.
During the operation, Hong Kong Customs seized a total of 1,209 pieces of ivory tusks and 1.4 kilogrammes of ivory ornaments, weighing about 3,813 kilogrammes, inside two containers shipped from Tanzania and Kenya to Hong Kong. The total seizure is worth about $26.7 million.
Acting on information provided by Guangdong Customs, Hong Kong Customs monitored two suspicious containers shipped from Africa. On October 16, Customs officers located one container arriving from Tanzania which was declared as containing "plastic scrap". Upon examination, the officers found 972 pieces of raw ivory tusks, weighing about 1,927 kilogrammes, and 1.4 kilogrammes of ivory ornaments inside 91 bags of plastics scraps, with an estimated value of about $13.5 million.
On the following day, Hong Kong Customs inspected another container from Kenya which was declared as containing "roscoco beans". Upon examination, a total of 237 pieces of raw ivory tusks, weighing about 1,884 kilogrammes, were found inside 50 bags of "roscoco bean", with an estimated value of about $13.2 million.
The Head of Ports and Maritime Command, Mr Lam Tak-fai, said today (October 20) at the briefing that Hong Kong Customs will continue to work closely with the Mainland Customs to combat against transnational smuggling activities.
In addition, Hong Kong Customs will continue to co-operate with Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to enforce the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance and deter the trafficking of wildlife.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of trading endangered species for commercial purposes is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
Ends/Saturday, October 20 2012