Customs officers at Kwai Chung Customhouse yesterday afternoon (23 May) foiled an attempt to smuggle 503 kilograms of ivory tusk and 556 kilograms of sea turtle scale into Hong Kong. The seized goods were worth about $700,000.
The consignment originated from Tanzania was shipped to Hong Kong via Singapore in a 20-foot container. It was declared as 175 bags of "dried fish maws".
After inspection at the cargo examination compound in Kwai Chung Customhouse, Customs officers found 70 bags of ivory tusk and 51 bags of sea turtle scale concealed inside the consignment.
So far, nobody has been arrested. The seizures were handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for follow-up investigation.
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.
Under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, any person found guilty of trading endangered species for commercial purpose is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
Ends/Tuesday, May 24, 2005