Hong Kong Customs Officers Seize HK$2.2M Worth Of Frozen Meat

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Credits: Blake Willis/ Unsplash
  • A total of 25 tonnes of meat was seized after officers saw a ship transfer bags to a speedboat.
  • The spot was about 3.6km (2.2 miles) inside Hong Kong’s maritime boundary with the mainland.
  • Six men bailed as police investigation into the incident continued.

A total of 25 tonnes (27 tons) of frozen meat worth HK$2.2 million (US$257,000) was seized and six men arrested after Hong Kong customs officers boarded a cargo ship in a nighttime anti-smuggling operation.

Custom office arrests

But a speedboat equipped with four outboard engines, which came from mainland China to transfer the cargo near Lamma Island, managed to flee the city’s waters, a source familiar with the case said on Monday.

The arrests came after customs officers spotted bags of goods being unloaded from the ship onto the speedboat just south of Lamma Island.

The spot was about 3.6km (2.2 miles) inside Hong Kong’s maritime boundary with the mainland.

Customs officers deployed two high-speed pursuit boats to intercept the vessel and speedboat, but the smaller craft raced off and managed to leave the city’s waters.

The officials, however, intercepted the ship and seized its cargo of frozen meat.

The smugglers

The Customs and Excise Department said six men – all Hong Kong residents and aged between 37 and 61 – were arrested on the ship.

The incident happened in the city’s southern waters at about 9pm last Friday.

The six men were detained on suspicion of attempting to expodgcargo – an offense punishable by up to seven years in jail and a HK$2 million fine.

Sea-smuggling

The men were later released on bail as police investigations continued. The source said officials were also investigating the source of the meat.

Customs officials emphasized that the department would “keep up its enforcement action and will continue to fiercely combat sea-smuggling activities through proactive risk management and intelligence-based enforcement strategies, along with mounting kit to land a solid blow against relevant activities.” 

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Source: SCMP

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