Hong Kong Customs detects suspected smuggling case worth about $10 million at Shenzhen Bay Control Point (with photos)

28 Apr 2023

​Hong Kong Customs yesterday (April 27) detected a suspected smuggling case at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point and seized a batch of suspected smuggled goods and a batch of frozen meat without a relevant health certificate or written permission. The total estimated market value of the seizures was about $10 million.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers yesterday intercepted an incoming lorry at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point. After inspection, a batch of suspected smuggled goods, including one set of unmanned aerial vehicle (i.e. unmanned aircraft) suspected to be a strategic commodity, about 300 alternative smoking products (ASPs) and about 3 400 smartphones, was found on board the lorry. Moreover, the officers also found about 600 kilograms of frozen meat (including meat, poultry and game) came without health certificates issued by an issuing entity from the place of origin or obtaining prior permission in writing from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD).

The 47-year-old male lorry driver was arrested and has been released on bail pending further 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. Also, any person who imports or exports goods belonging to the control list of strategic commodities under the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations without a valid import or export licence commits an offence and is liable to an unlimited fine and to imprisonment for seven years on conviction.

Under the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, any person who imports, promotes, manufactures, sells or possesses for commercial purposes ASPs, including electronic cigarette products, heated tobacco products, herbal cigarettes and any related devices, parts and accessories, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

According to the Imported Game, Meat, Poultry and Eggs Regulations, any person who imports game, meat, poultry or eggs should produce a health certificate issued by an issuing entity of the place of origin or obtain prior permission in writing from the FEHD. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

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.

Moreover, Customs attaches importance to the safety risks associated with cross-boundary delivery of food and reminds members of the public to purchase food from reputable shops. Customs and the Centre for Food Safety of the FEHD 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 (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, April 28, 2023

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