Hong Kong Customs detects river trade vessel smuggling case involving about $10 million (with photo)

8 Apr 2023

Hong Kong Customs on April 4 detected a suspected smuggling case involving a river trade vessel in the western waters of Hong Kong. A large batch of suspected smuggled goods, including notebook computers, notebook computer parts, chilled pork stomach, beef jerky and frozen sea cucumbers, with a total estimated market value of about $10 million, was seized.

During an anti-smuggling operation conducted in the above-mentioned waters in the afternoon of that day, Customs intercepted a river trade vessel heading towards Macao. After inspection, Customs officers found a batch of declared goods had been placed at the doors of two containers on board the vessel, concealing the batch of suspected smuggled goods inside the containers.

After a follow-up investigation, Customs arrested a 43-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man, both suspected to be connected with the case.

An investigation is ongoing. The arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.

Customs is the primary agency responsible for the suppression of smuggling activities and has all along been combating various smuggling activities proactively at the forefront. Customs will keep up its enforcement action and continue to fiercely combat sea smuggling activities through proactive 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/Saturday, April 8, 2023

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