Hong Kong Customs smashed two smuggling cases yesterday (November 24) involving unmanifested dried seahorses and used clothing in two containers with a total value of about $3.26 million.
Through risk assessment, Customs officers selected for cargo examination a 20-foot container declared to contain seaweed from Peru. Upon inspection, the officers found a batch of unmanifested dried seahorses, weighing 398 kilogrammes, in the innermost part of the container. The seahorses had an estimated value of about $3.16 million.
In the other case, Customs officers examined a 40-foot container shipped from Pakistan and destined for the Philippines. The consignment was declared as kitchenware. Upon examination, Customs officers found 27,000 kilogrammes of unmanifested used clothing valued at about $100,000.
Investigation on both cases was continuing and no arrests had been made so far.
A Customs spokesman said today (November 25) that Hong Kong Customs would continue to fulfill its international obligations by actively detecting smuggling activities and stepping up efforts in combating import and transnational smuggling crimes.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
In addition, under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of trading in endangered species for commercial purposes is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
Ends/Friday, November 25, 2011