Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK customs foils city’s biggest smuggling case on record

This undated photo shows the suspected smuggled goods seized and four detained lorries suspected to be in connection with the case. (PHOTO / INFO.GOV.HK)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong Customs has foiled the city’s biggest smuggling case after seizing smuggled goods worth HK$210 million ($26.97 million) last month.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of HK$2 million and imprisonment for seven years

Customs said in a statement that they confiscated high-value goods, expensive food ingredients, and endangered species from the members of a smuggling syndicate active in Lung Kwu Tan.

“This is the largest smuggling case among all forms of smuggling by air, sea and land detected by Customs on record in terms of the seizure value,” the statement reads.

Customs officers joined forces with the Marine Police's Small Boat Division and swooped down on the syndicate’s members on September 23 after months of in-depth investigations. 

Customs and Marine Police officers spotted several suspicious men moving cartons from a lorry to a speedboat at a seashore in Lung Kwu Tan. The officers then took action and those men immediately jumped onto the speedboat and fled.

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This undated photo shows some of the suspected smuggled scheduled endangered species seized. (PHOTO / INFO.GOV.HK)

Customs officers seized at the scene a lorry suspected to be connected with the case. After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers raided a storehouse and seized three more lorries and a large batch of suspected smuggled goods, including luxury handbags, valuable watches, expensive food ingredients and specimens of highly endangered species.

A 34-year-old man was arrested during the operation but he was released on bail pending further investigation.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of HK$2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

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

This undated photo shows some of the suspected smuggled high-value goods seized. (PHOTO / INFO.GOV.HK)