Hong Kong Customs seizes endangered shark fins worth HK$1.8 million in anti-smuggling operation

39

19th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong Customs officials conducted a targeted anti-smuggling operation on 16th April, leading to the significant seizure of endangered shark fins. The operation took place in the western waters off Fan Lau, where authorities intercepted a river trade vessel en route to Macao.

During the inspection of the vessel, Customs officers discovered approximately 360 kilograms of suspected dried shark fins from endangered species. The haul has an estimated market value of around $1.8 million, highlighting the substantial nature of this smuggling attempt.

The ongoing investigation by Hong Kong Customs may lead to arrests as they further probe into the origins and intended destination of the illicit cargo. This incident underscores the continuous efforts by Hong Kong authorities to combat the illegal trade of endangered species, a serious crime that carries severe penalties under local law.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, individuals found guilty of importing or exporting endangered species without appropriate licenses face stringent consequences. Convictions can result in a maximum fine of $10 million and up to ten years of imprisonment, reflecting the gravity with which Hong Kong treats environmental and wildlife protection laws.