Customs seizes $23.5 million smuggled and counterfeit goods

21 Jan 2005

Hong Kong Customs officers seized about $23.5 million worth of smuggled and counterfeit goods in an operation from Jan 18 to 20.

On January 18, Customs officers from the Ports and Maritime Command seized a large quantity of colour photo paper, dried seafood, canned abalone, audio equipment, and antibiotics, totally worth about $16 million, from four 40-foot containers onboard a river trade vessel in the waters off Tung Lung Chau during cargo inspection on January 18. Initial investigations showed that the goods were intended for shipment to Huizhou in the Mainland.

Customs officers believed that the smuggling attempt of a large quantity of colour photo paper and high-priced dried seafood and canned abalone was to meet the demand for such goods in the up-coming Lunar New Year in the Mainland.

On January 20, Customs officers found another batch of counterfeit goods including home appliances, mobile phone batteries and accessories, clothes, handbags and cosmetics, worth about $7.5 million, from a 40-foot container at the River Trade Terminal. Customs investigations showed that the consignment, which had arrived from Yantian in the Mainland, was for transshipment to Thailand.

Customs investigation continues.

Under Import and Export Ordinance, anyone found guilty of smuggling will be liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years, while under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person importing or exporting goods with false trade descriptions or forged trade marks is liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and five years' imprisonment.

Ends/Friday, January 21, 2005

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