Hong Kong Customs today (August 10) detected a suspected smuggling case of dried fish swim bladders of an endangered species in a transshipment express cargo at the Hong Kong International Airport. Three pieces of suspected totoaba fish swim bladders with a net weight of 0.635 kilogramme worth about $300,000 were seized.
During cargo examination, Customs officers screened a transshipment express cargo declared as "Corns Flakes Sample" originated from Mexico via the United States of America with a final destination to the Mainland. Suspicious images of the cargo were found under X-ray inspection. After opening the parcel, Customs officers found the said dried fish swim bladders being concealed in a cornflakes box, each of which was sealed with plastic food wrap.
The case was handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for follow-up action. Hong Kong Customs will continue to work with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to deter trafficking of endangered species.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of trading in endangered species for commercial purposes is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
Ends/Monday, August 10, 2015