Date
28 June 2017
Among the smuggled goods seized were bird's nests, shark fins and bottles of red wine with a combined value of over HK$30 million. Photo: GovHK
Among the smuggled goods seized were bird's nests, shark fins and bottles of red wine with a combined value of over HK$30 million. Photo: GovHK

Bird nests and shark fins worth HK$30 million seized

The Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department seized more than HK$30 million worth of smuggled goods at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point and arrested 11 suspects.

Customs officers first confiscated undeclared bird’s nests and red wine found in two private cars at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point on Tuesday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Follow-up investigation led them to a freight yard in Yuen Long and a unit at an industrial building in Fanling, where they found large quantities of bird’s nests, shark’s fins, red wine and smartphone screens.

The operation yielded over 235 kilograms of bird’s nests, 65 kgs of shark’s fins, 400 bottles of red wine, 41,000 smartphone screens, as well as several pieces of auto parts.

A total of 11 suspects, including two women, were arrested and six private cars impounded for further investigation.

Some HK$6 million in duties should have been paid if the goods had been declared.

As a result of the operation and arrests, customs officials believe one particular group responsible for the smuggling of high-end products across the border has been busted.

Wan Hing-chuen, head of the special investigation unit at the Syndicate Crimes Investigation Bureau, said the smuggling group had been operating as a one-stop shop, handling everything from sourcing, storage and packaging to logistics and cross-border delivery.

The group would always arrange a person to pretend as a passenger in the cross-border car.

When accosted by customs officers, the person would say the goods were his or her personal belongings.

Wan said the high demand for luxury goods in the mainland has made smuggling a lucrative business.

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EL/FC/CG

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