Date
25 May 2017
Shoppers sort through items in Sheung Shui district near the border with mainland China. Photo: Bloomberg
Shoppers sort through items in Sheung Shui district near the border with mainland China. Photo: Bloomberg

Dozens of illegal parallel traders arrested in Sheung Shui

Immigration authorities have arrested 33 suspected parallel traders from mainland China for visa violations.

The group — 16 men and 17 women aged between 22 and 75 — were arrested in Sheung Shui district near the Hong Kong border with Shenzhen, DBC ratio reported Monday.

They were about to bring smuggled goods including milk powder, diapers, food and mobile phones to the mainland when they were stopped by a joint immigration-police task force.

More than 2,000 illegal parallel traders have been arrested since September 2012 when the Immigration Department began a crackdown on visa offenders.

Fourteen of the suspects were from Hong Kong, according to Apple Daily. Nearly 2,000 were sent back to the mainland while 205 were jailed in Hong Kong.

Increased police presence at the Futian border checkpoint in Shenzhen has led to a fall in suspected parallel traders, the report said.

Parallel trading activity is down 70 percent, according to an unnamed source from a mainland group. 

Meanwhile, seven in 10 people interviewed in a recent survey said they are optimistic about a new policy that limits Shenzhen residents to one Hong Kong visit a week, part of efforts to discourage parallel traders.

However, more than half said the new policy will affect ordinary Chinese visitors to Hong Kong.

The survey was conducted by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and polled 370 people in North District.

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TL/AC/RA

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