18th October 2020 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Customs conducted an anti-smuggling operation last Thursday (15th) and detected a suspected smuggling case using cargo ships, barges and tugboats in the waters near Lung Kwu Chau. Suspected smuggled goods included 240 metric tons of frozen meat and 600 boxes of fruits, with an estimated market value of about HK$19.5 million were seized. During the operation, the Customs arrested 22 people and detained 1 cargo ship and 3 tugboats.
This case is also the first time that the Customs has discovered a case of criminals suspected of using barges to smuggle high-value fruits.
On the day of the case occurred, Customs officers spotted seven suspicious vessels, comprising one cargo vessel, three barges and three tugboats, off Lung Kwu Chau in night hours. The cargo vessel was intercepted when it was about to leave the Hong Kong waters, while other barges and tugboats were also stopped for examination. The suspected smuggled frozen meat and fruit were seized as a result.
The frozen meat seized included beef, pork rib, pork offal worth about $19.5 million, while the fruit products netted are high-end grape, honeydew and kirin fruits among others carry an estimated market value of around $500,000.
Twenty-two men whose ages range between 20 and 67 were arrested. Four vessels have also been detained for investigation.
Investigation is ongoing.