Hong Kong Customs on October 28 and 29 seized a total of about 150 kilograms of suspected scheduled red sandalwood, with an estimated market value of about $750,000, at Hong Kong International Airport and an upstairs shop. A man was arrested.
Through risk assessment, Customs officers on October 28 inspected three air parcels, declared as carrying wood products, arriving in Hong Kong from India. Upon inspection, Customs officers found a total of about 75kg of suspected scheduled red sandalwood inside the parcels.
After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers further seized a batch of suspected scheduled red sandalwood and two boxes of wooden beads made of suspected scheduled red sandalwood, totalling about 75kg, at an upstairs shop in Tsim Sha Tsui the next day. A 43-year-old man suspected to be connected with the case was arrested.
An investigation is ongoing. The arrested man has been released on bail pending investigation and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.
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.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $10 million and imprisonment for 10 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 (email@example.com).
Ends/Monday, October 31, 2022