Hong Kong Customs and Marine Police join forces and detect largest smuggling case in past 12 years (with photos)

4 Dec 2020

Hong Kong Customs and the Marine Police mounted a joint operation and detected a suspected speedboat-related smuggling case in Sha Tau Kok yesterday (December 3). A batch of suspected smuggled goods, including electronic products, high-value food and medicines as well as premium cosmetics, with an estimated market value of about $80 million in total were seized. This is the largest smuggling case detected by Customs in the past 12 years.

Customs officers and Marine Police officers conducted an anti-smuggling operation at Sha Tau Kok yesterday and spotted several suspicious men on the shore moving cartons from several private cars to a speedboat. Officers then took action and the men immediately jumped onto the speedboat and fled.

Customs officers later intercepted four vehicles, comprising a lorry and three private cars, suspected to be related to the case in the vicinity. A large batch of suspected smuggled goods, including new-model smartphones, computer RAMs, memory cards, dried abalones, bird nests, red coral, handbags and premium cosmetics, was seized from the vehicles.

Upon follow-up investigation, Customs officers arrested three men, aged between 36 and 46, suspected to be connected with the case on the same day. Four vehicles suspected to be related to the case were also detained.

An investigation is ongoing and the three arrested men have been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs stresses that it will keep up its enforcement action and will continue to fiercely combat sea smuggling activities by actively pursuing risk-management and intelligence-based enforcement strategies, along with mounting targeted anti-smuggling operations at suitable times and maintaining close co-operation in its intelligence exchanges with local and overseas law enforcement agencies to land a solid blow against relevant activities.

Smuggling is a serious offence. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, December 4, 2020

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