Hong Kong Customs today (June 23) detected a sea-bound cargo smuggling case and seized about 4 000 kilograms of suspected pangolin scales from a container at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. The total value of the seizure was about $9.8 million. This is the largest quantity of seizure of pangolin scales in five years.
Customs officers, through risk assessment, selected a shipment arriving from Cameroon, declared as "1,260 bags of sliced plastics", for inspection. As a result, Customs officers found 201 bags of suspected pangolin scales, with a total weight of about 4 000 kilograms, from the container.
As the pangolin scales were endangered species and were not declared on the manifest, they were seized by Customs officers for further investigation.
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 importing an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
Ends/Thursday, June 23, 2016