The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) mounted a special operation in the period before and during the Lunar New Year at the airport, seaport, land boundary, railway and ferry control points in a bid to combat smuggling and other illegal activities through passenger and cargo channels.
In the 19-day operation that started on February 1 and concluded on February 19, the C&ED detected a total of 655 cases with the arrest of 582 persons, resulting in the seizure of items with an estimated value of about $53 million.
On the anti-narcotics front, 45 dangerous drug cases were detected, resulting in the arrest of 10 persons and seizure of about 105 kilograms of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $4.6 million. Most of the seizure items were synthetic drugs, including cathinone (commonly known as "bath salt"), methamphetamine (commonly known as "ice") and cannabis buds, which were seized mainly from inbound air parcels and air passengers.
The C&ED also detected cases that led to the seizure of infringing products with an approximate value of $33 million. Other smuggling goods of various kinds, including frozen meat, mobile phone accessories and cosmetic products, valued at about $6.2 million were also seized.
Customs officers also detected 98 cases of smuggling of suspected endangered species, including Dalbergia species wood logs, orchids, ivory products and controlled shark fins, with an estimated seizure value of about $6.4 million. Customs officers also seized about 108kg of game, meat and poultry and about 1 300 poultry eggs that were imported into Hong Kong without a health certificate. These cases were handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for follow-up.
During the special operation, Customs officers seized about 840 000 suspected illicit cigarettes and 81 litres of dutiable liquor with an estimated market value of about $2.3 million at various control points. A total of 440 persons were arrested.
A spokesman for the C&ED reiterated, "Hong Kong Customs has all along adopted a zero-tolerance approach against cross-boundary smuggling activities. Apart from strengthening deployment and making stringent enforcement actions during the festive holidays, Customs officers will be equally vigilant in combating smuggling activities through risk assessment and intelligence analysis in their routine operation."
Ends/Wednesday, February 21, 2018