Hong Kong Customs makes record seizure of smuggled scheduled dried shark fins (with photos)

6 May 2020

Hong Kong Customs detected two smuggling cases of scheduled dried shark fins at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on April 28 and May 4. About 13 tonnes of suspected scheduled dried shark fins of endangered species were seized in each case, with an estimated market value of about $8.6 million in total. Both cases also broke the past record of similar cases counted in a single case by weight and value.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers selected two containers arriving in Hong Kong from Ecuador for inspection and seized about 13 tonnes of suspected dried scheduled shark fins mix-loaded with non-scheduled shark fins inside each of the containers.

After follow-up investigation, Customs officers arrested a 57-year-old male suspect in Sai Ying Pun on April 29. He has been released on bail pending investigation.

Investigations of both cases are ongoing.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $10 million and imprisonment for 10 years.

Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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