Hong Kong Customs detected two illegal import cases of suspected scheduled endangered species at Hong Kong International Airport on March 9. A total of about 270 kilograms of suspected scheduled dried fish maws and about 50kg of suspected scheduled dried shark fins, with an estimated market value of about $300,000, were seized.
Through risk assessment, Customs on that day inspected two air consignments, both declared as carrying courier goods, arriving in Hong Kong from Bangladesh. Upon inspection, Customs officers first found a large batch of suspected scheduled dried fish maws of endangered species, mix-loaded with a large quantity of non-scheduled dried fish maws, in nine carton boxes inside the first consignment.
Later, when inspecting the second consignment, Customs officers further found a batch of suspected scheduled dried shark fins of endangered species, mix-loaded with a large quantity of non-scheduled dried fish maws, in a carton box.
Customs officers discovered during the investigation that the reported delivery addresses of the two batches of suspected scheduled endangered species were a warehouse in Sheung Shui and a dried seafood retail shop in Sheung Wan.
After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers mounted arrest operations on March 10 and 11 and arrested two men, aged 31 and 33, suspected to be connected with the cases, in Sheung Shui and Sheung Wan.
An investigation is ongoing and the two arrested men have been released on bail pending further investigation.
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, March 13, 2023