Hong Kong Customs smashes suspected smuggling syndicate of smartphones (with photo)

4 Nov 2015

Hong Kong Customs smashed a suspected cross-boundary smuggling syndicate of smartphones during an operation against smuggling conducted in early November.

Customs Officers intercepted an outbound truck at Man Kam To Control Point last night (November 3). A batch of smartphones were found from the driving compartment and a false compartment at the bottom of the truck. Later, Customs Officers intercepted an outbound container truck and another truck at Lok Ma Chau Control Point. A batch of smartphones were found in the driving compartment of each of the two vehicles. Meanwhile, Customs Officers intercepted a private car at Yuen Long San Wai Tsuen and conducted a search in a premises there. A batch of smartphones, packing tools and receipts were seized. After that, Customs Officers searched a warehouse in Sheung Shui and further found a batch of smartphone empty boxes and accessories.

During the operation, seven men aged between 24 and 51 were arrested. A total of 864 smartphones, worth about $4.3 million, and four vehicles were seized. The arrested persons will be charged with attempting to export unmanifested cargo and will appear at Fanling Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (November 5).

Customs believes that the syndicate members would first collect smart phones from various locations and then take out the smartphones from the original package at premises in Yuen Long San Wai Tsuen and a warehouse in Sheung Shui. The smartphones would then be passed to cross-boundary truck drivers for smuggling out of the territory.

A Hong Kong Customs spokesman said that the profit was estimated to be about $120,000 if the smartphones were successfully smuggled out of the territory.

Hong Kong Customs would continue to monitor the smuggling trend and strengthen the enforcement work in order to combat smuggling activities.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of exporting unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

Ends/Wednesday, November 4, 2015

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