The Hong Kong Customs today (February 14) detected a sea smuggling case and detained a fishing vessel for investigation, with 176,800 litres of marked oil worth about $1.15 million seized. Four men aged between 40 and 55 were arrested.
During an anti-smuggling patrol in the early morning, Customs officers of the Marine Enforcement Group intercepted a 190-tonne fishing vessel off Lamma Island. Upon searching, officers found neither fishing gears nor marine catch onboard but a huge quantity of marked oil from the fuel tanks of the vessel. It is believed that the fishing vessel was engaged in the smuggling of marked oil. The vessel together with four crew members onboard and the marked oil were detained for further investigation.
Smuggling is a serious offence under the Import and Export Ordinance. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
The Hong Kong Customs will continue to take vigorous enforcement actions against sea smuggling activities. Members of the public can report suspected smuggling activities to the Customs through the 24-hour Hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, February 14, 2012