21 August 2019
The woman rented the baby for HK$30 an hour. Photo: Guangzhou Daily
The woman rented the baby for HK$30 an hour. Photo: Guangzhou Daily

HK woman with rented baby caught smuggling ivory to Shenzhen

Customs officers at Shenzhen’s Huanggang Port stopped a Hong Kong woman with a baby in her arms Monday night.

The woman, in her 20s, refused to hand over the bag on her back to be inspected, claiming there were only baby products inside.

But the officers found 24 ivory products in the bag — two pieces of ivory weighing a combined 4 kilograms and 22 bracelets weighing a total of 2 kg – Apple Daily reported Friday, citing mainland media.

Immigration records show the woman had traveled between Hong Kong and Shenzhen multiple times in a short period and had been punished before for carrying illegal goods through customs.

Further investigation into the latest and largest ivory smuggling case busted by Huanggang customs this year revealed the baby had been rented, as suggested by a group of smugglers as a way to distract customs officers.

The rent was HK$30 (US$3.87) an hour.

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said a baby with valid immigration documents can be carried by non-family members or non-custodians across the border.

Some netizens in Shenzhen responded to reports of the case by saying it provided fresh justification for a limit on visits by Hongkongers to once a week.

Many Shenzhen residents have called for a tit-for-tat restriction since a similar curb was imposed Monday on their visits to Hong Kong.

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