Hong Kong Customs detects river trade vessel smuggling case valued at about $43 million (with photos)

23 Aug 2022

Hong Kong Customs on August 16 detected a suspected smuggling case involving a river trade vessel in the western waters of Hong Kong. A large batch of suspected smuggled goods with a total estimated market value of about $43 million was seized, including assorted electronic products, cosmetic products and high-value food.

Customs officers conducted an operation against sea smuggling in the above-mentioned waters in the evening of that day, and intercepted a river trade vessel heading towards Macao. After inspection, the officers found the batch of suspected smuggled goods, including cosmetic products, mooncakes, dried fish maws, health supplements, pharmaceutical products, powdered formula, e-book readers, electrical appliances and ornamental crabs, in 12 containers on board the vessel.

After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers arrested a 49-year-old woman suspected to be connected with the case the next day. The 12 containers involved have also been detained for investigation.

An investigation is ongoing. The likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.

Customs stresses that it will keep up its enforcement action and will continue to fiercely combat sea smuggling activities by actively pursuing risk-management and intelligence-based enforcement strategies, along with mounting targeted anti-smuggling operations at suitable times to land a solid blow against relevant activities.

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

Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Tuesday, August 23, 2022

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