Customs foils fishing vessel smuggling case (with photos)

27 Feb 2015

Hong Kong Customs conducted an operation against sea smuggling today (February 27) and detected a suspected case of smuggling by fishing vessel in Hong Kong western waters.

In the operation, about 5 500 kilogrammes of salmon, 751 heads of suspected endangered species black pond turtles and a fishing vessel with a total value of about $2.7 million were seized. Two men, aged 58 and 46 respectively, were arrested.

Officers of the Customs Marine Enforcement Group in the early morning today spotted a suspicious fishing vessel leaving Hong Kong in the direction from Tuen Mun to Sha Chau. The suspicious fishing vessel immediately accelerated and fled when Customs officers stopped it for enforcement action but was finally intercepted in the waters off west of Sha Chau.

A total of 297 boxes of smuggled seafood and black pond turtles were found on the vessel. The vessel was seized where the coxswain and the crew member were arrested.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of exporting unmanifested cargo 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 exporting a specimen of a scheduled species on Appendix I without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year.

The Customs will continue to take stringent enforcement action to combat sea smuggling activities. Members of the public can report suspected smuggling activities to the Customs through the 24-hour Hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, February 27, 2015

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