The Customs seized over one tonne of live lobsters, worth about $640,000, and a speedboat powered with twin outboard engines each of 250 HP in an anti-smuggling operation at Tai Ho Wan (?剜???, North Lantau, this morning (July 23).
Acting on information, Customs officers of the Special Task Force and Marine Enforcement Group mounted a joint operation in North Lantau last night. Some white foam boxes were seen being loaded onto the speedboat at Tai Ho Wan in small hours this morning. Customs crafts and a raid team laying ambush in sea and on land took actions when the loaded speedboat set sail. Upon Customs appearance, the speedboat made a U-turn and rushed into nearby mangroves. Two men fled from the speedboat. In the subsequent search in the mangroves Customs found the abandoned speedboat and 71 boxes of lobsters scattered around the speedboat. No arrest was made at the scene and Customs investigation is continuing.
Smuggling is a serious offence which attracts a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years under the Import and Export Ordinance.
Members of the public are urged to report any suspected smuggling activities to the Customs through the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Saturday, July 23, 2011