Hong Kong Customs review of enforcement operations to combat smuggling activities of imported COVID-19 oral drugs since January 2023 


Hong Kong Government Press Release

3rd February 2023 – (Hong Kong)  In view of the increasing demand of COVID-19 oral drugs from society and an upward trend of related smuggling cases since January this year, Hong Kong Customs has conducted special operations to strengthen enforcement against the smuggling of COVID-19 oral drugs into Hong Kong.
 Since the operations, Customs has detected 33 suspected smuggling cases of imported COVID-19 oral drugs. About 257 000 tablets of COVID-19 oral drugs with an estimated market value of over $15 million have been seized. Among them, 27 cases involved smuggling of COVID-19 oral drugs through parcel and cargo channels, while the remaining six cases involved passengers bringing the related drugs into the city without a licence.
 During the operations, 20 persons have been arrested.
 Investigations of the above-mentioned cases are ongoing and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.