Hong Kong Customs detects river trade vessel smuggling case involving about $50 million (with photos)

31 May 2022

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (May 30) mounted an anti-smuggling operation in the western waters of Hong Kong and detected a case suspected of using a river trade vessel's structural space to conceal smuggled goods in the waters off Black Point. A large batch of suspected smuggled goods with a total estimated market value of about $50 million was seized, including electronic products, high-value food, cosmetic products and cigars.

During an operation against sea smuggling conducted in the above-mentioned waters yesterday afternoon, Customs officers intercepted a river trade vessel heading towards Mainland waters. After inspection, the officers found a batch of suspected smuggled goods, including mobile phones, tablet computers, central processing units, integrated circuits, bird's nest, dried fish maws, dried seahorses, dried sea cucumbers, dried shark fins, cosmetic products and cigars inside the ballast chamber of the river trade vessel.

During the operation, six men, aged between 30 and 40, suspected to be connected with the case were arrested by Customs officers on board the vessel.

An investigation is ongoing. The likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.

Customs stresses that it will keep up its enforcement action and will continue to fiercely combat sea smuggling activities by actively pursuing risk-management and intelligence-based enforcement strategies, along with mounting targeted anti-smuggling operations at suitable times to land a solid blow against relevant activities.

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.

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/Tuesday, May 31, 2022

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