Hong Kong Customs mounted a special operation between January 12 and 31 to combat smuggling of diesel oil involving cross-boundary goods vehicles with suspected altered fuel tanks. A total of about 9 700 litres of suspected smuggled diesel oil were seized and eight goods vehicles suspected to be involved were detained. The total estimated market value of the diesel oil and goods vehicles was about $4.3 million.
During the operation, Customs officers stepped up inspections of outbound goods vehicles at land boundary control points through risk-management and intelligence-based enforcement strategies. They successfully intercepted seven goods vehicles and one goods vehicle at Lok Ma Chau Control Point and Shenzhen Bay Control Point respectively. Each vehicle was found to have installed a fuel tank with a suspected altered structure to smuggle diesel oil. Eight male drivers aged between 31 and 53 suspected to be in connection with the cases were arrested.
Investigations of all the cases are ongoing. All arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation.
Customs reminds members of the public that 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.
Customs will continue to combat cross-boundary smuggling activities with firm enforcement action based on risk assessment and intelligence analysis.
Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ends/Thursday, February 3, 2022