Hong Kong Customs detects suspected frozen meat smuggling case involving barge (with photo)

21 Jun 2023

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (June 20) mounted an anti-smuggling operation in the southeast waters of Hong Kong and detected a suspected smuggling case involving a barge. About 37 tonnes of suspected smuggled frozen meat with an estimated market value of about $3.7 million were seized.

Customs conducted an anti-smuggling operation and spotted a suspicious barge in the waters off Tung Lung Island yesterday night. Several men on the barge, suspected of participating in smuggling activities, were unloading a batch of goods onto a cargo vessel. Customs officers immediately took action and intercepted the cargo vessel, the barge and a tugboat. The batch of suspected smuggled frozen meat was seized on board the cargo vessel and the barge.

During the operation, 10 men, aged between 31 and 68, suspected to be connected with the case were arrested.

An investigation is ongoing.

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/Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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