Smugglers back in the fast lane with high-speed boats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 January, 2000, 12:00am

A marine police officer uses a radar display and global positioning system to track high-speed boats, which are making a comeback with Hong Kong smugglers. The number of suspicious speedboats leapt from just four in 1998 to 125 last year. Forty-five high-speed vessels were caught smuggling goods last year, compared with just one in 1998. They included seven dai feis - large open vessels built to smuggle vehicles. Marine police uncovered 14 cases of smuggled vehicles last year.

Separately, the number of illegal immigrants arrested at sea fell - from 834 in 1998 to 729 last year, including 125 Vietnamese.