Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected sea-bound cargo smuggling case on March 17 and seized about 2 000 kilogrammes of pangolin scales from a container at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. The total value of the seizure was about $10 million.
Customs officers, through risk assessment, selected a shipment arriving from Nigeria for inspection. Upon examination, Customs officers found the pangolin scales in 44 nylon bags of goods in the container. The pangolin scales come from an 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 illegally importing a specimen of scheduled species of Appendix II without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Ends/Friday, March 20, 2015