Hong Kong Customs and the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) on October 28 seized about 2 700 kilograms of suspected smuggled hairy crabs and about 4kg of suspected smuggled crawfish with a total estimated market value of about $1.3 million in a joint operation at Man Kam To Control Point.
Customs Officers on that day intercepted an incoming goods vehicle at the control point. After inspection, the suspected unmanifested hairy crabs and crawfish were found mingled with other properly declared goods.
The estimated market value of the suspected unmanifested hairy crabs seized was about $1.3 million while that of the suspected unmanifested crawfish was about $1,000.
Furthermore, the seized hairy crabs did not come with health certificates issued by the relevant authorities of the exporting economies and failed to comply with the requirements of the Shell Fish (Hairy Crab) Permit.
An investigation is ongoing. A 54-year-old male goods vehicle driver is assisting the investigation.
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.
According to the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, all food available for sale in Hong Kong, locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction. Moreover, under the Food Safety Ordinance, any person who, without reasonable excuse, does not register but carries on a food importation or distribution business commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Customs and the CFS will keep up close co-operation and intelligence exchanges, while joint operations will be conducted to combat illegal food import activities.
Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Sunday, October 30, 2022