´╗┐Customs steps up action against cross-boundary smuggling (with photos)

9 Feb 2010

With the Chinese New Year approaching, Customs has strengthened inspections on cross-boundary vehicles to detect and deter smuggling activities using cross-boundary vehicles.

Since January this year, Customs has detected nine smuggling cases involving cross-boundary vehicles. Goods worth $22 million in total were seized with nine persons arrested.

The goods recently smuggled out of Hong Kong were mostly of high value, including mobile phones and related accessories and electrical and electronic products, whereas those smuggled into Hong Kong were mainly counterfeit items.

The smugglers attempted to smuggle goods across the land boundary by various means. Apart from mixing the smuggled goods into declared items, the modus operandi revealed in the latest smuggling cases included concealment inside the driving compartment, tool boxes and spoilers.

To detect and deter these activities, Customs is adopting an intelligence-led and risk-management strategy in stepping up inspection of vehicles and cargo, aided by advanced technology such as a vehicle X-ray inspection system and a mobile X-ray vehicle scanning system.

Moreover, Customs will continue to maintain close co-operation with other law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong and Mainland counterparts in intelligence exchange to combat cross-boundary smuggling activities.

Speaking at a press briefing today (February 9), the Head of Land Boundary Command, Mr Ben Leung, appealed to the cross-boundary transport industry not to engage in goods smuggling, which is a serious offence.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person who imports/exports any unmanifested cargo shall be guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment and a fine of $2 million.

Customs also encourages truck drivers to report suspicious shipments they convey by calling the Customs hotline 2545 6182 or informing Customs officers at control points for action as soon as possible.

Ends/Tuesday, February 9, 2010

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