Customs foils fishing vessel smuggling case (with photos)

4 Apr 2014

Hong Kong Customs conducted an operation against sea smuggling yesterday (April 3) and detected a suspected case of smuggling by a fishing vessel in Hong Kong eastern waters.

In the operation, about 1,900 kilograms of lobsters, 1,400kg of geoduck, 4,300kg of salmon and a fishing vessel with a total value of about $2.4 million were seized. Three men, aged 43, 46 and 63, were arrested.

Officers of the Customs Marine Enforcement Group last night spotted a suspicious fishing vessel leaving Hong Kong in the direction from Tung Lung Chau to Ninepin Group. The suspicious fishing vessel immediately accelerated and fled when Customs officers stopped it for enforcement action, but it was finally intercepted east of Ninepin Group.

A total of 382 carton boxes of smuggled seafood were found on the vessel. The vessel was seized and the coxswain and two crew members were arrested.

Smuggling is a serious offence. 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.

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

Ends/Friday, April 4 2014

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