Hong Kong Customs mounted a special operation at land boundary control points between December 27 last year and January 1 this year to combat smuggling activities by cross-boundary goods vehicles under the epidemic.
During the operation, Customs detected five suspected smuggling cases involving cross-boundary goods vehicles at Shenzhen Bay Control Point, Man Kam To Control Point and Lok Ma Chau Control Point and seized a batch of suspected smuggled medicines and anti-epidemic supplies, including proprietary Chinese medicines, pharmaceutical products, rapid-antigen test kits, fever patches and thermometers, with an estimated market value of about $940,000. The quantity of the smuggled goods was over 3 900.
In the operation, Customs officers intercepted five cross-boundary goods vehicles, including four outgoing and one incoming goods vehicles which were declared as empty, carrying express parcels and electronic parts respectively. The controlled items seized were not covered by import/export licence. It is believed that the smugglers attempted to evade Customs detection by concealing the suspected smuggled goods inside driving compartments and inner parts of the containers.
Five male drivers, suspected to be connected with the cases and aged between 38 and 59, are 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.
Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, any person who possesses any poison included in Part 1 of the Poisons List other than in accordance with provisions commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for two years.
Members of the public are urged not to involve in such illegal activities. Customs will continue to combat cross-boundary smuggling activities with firm enforcement action based on risk assessment and intelligence analysis.
Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).