Hong Kong Customs today (July 19) detected a sea-bound cargo smuggling case and seized about 7 300 kilograms of suspected pangolin scales from a container at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. The value of the seizure was about $14 million. This is the largest seizure of pangolin scales in five years.
Customs officers, through risk assessment, selected a shipment arriving from Nigeria, declared as "660 bags of recycled plastic particles", for inspection. Upon examination, Customs officers found 259 bags of suspected pangolin scales, with a weight of about 7 300 kilograms, from the container.
As the suspected pangolin scales 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/Tuesday, July 19, 2016