Record £19.8m Hong Kong smuggling bust includes shark fins and endangered plants

Shark fins and endangered plants are among a haul of smuggled goods including luxury handbags and cigars that have been seized by customs officials in Hong Kong worth an estimated $26.9m (£19.8m)

Authorities on Thursday said it was their largest-ever smuggling bust.

The government said the smuggling ring operated using speedboats and that four trucks were also impounded.

Customs staff and the marine police carried out the warehouse raid in the northern New Territories close to mainland China on 23 September.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in the operation that began in June.

“This is the largest smuggling case among all forms of smuggling by air, sea and land detected by customs on record in terms of the seizure value,” a government statement said.

The record HK$210m haul had been sourced from around the world by a gang and was destined for mainland China.

The 9.7 tonnes of fins, valued at HK$110m (£10.4m) on their own, were removed from some 15,000 animals, including endangered thresher sharks, according to the South China Morning Post.

It reported the amount of time it took to categorise, count and weigh the vast consignment, and to verify the endangered species involved, led to the delay in releasing details of the raid – quoting Senior Superintendent Mark Woo Wai-kwan, of the customs syndicate crimes investigation bureau.

Shark fins are a delicacy in southern Chinese cuisine.

Goods seized also included mobile phones, tablets and luxury watches and wallets.

Source: Read Full Article