HK$23m of smuggled computer parts seized on way to mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2007, 12:00am

Marine police seized HK$23 million of smuggled computer components that were on their way to the mainland in the division's biggest seizure for six months.

A total of 455 boxes of contraband electronic products including computer disk drives, semiconductors, integrated circuits and LCD monitors were confiscated during the anti-smuggling operation in Tai Po.

Officers spotted a group of people unloading goods from two light goods vehicles onto speedboats at Sam Mun Tsai at around 5pm on Saturday. Another group of people was observed unloading goods from trucks to speedboats at Yuen Chau Tsai.

Senior Inspector Lai Chi-hung, of the marine division, said'They were very well organised, and they deliberately planned to transfer the goods ... at different locations and at different times to minimise the risk of arrest.'

Police believe the syndicate employed about 30 people who were divided into groups to smuggle the components to the mainland.

Senior Inspector Lai said: 'The smugglers also carefully planned to stay close to the speedboats at all times so that they could escape easily. They deployed lookouts to raise the alarm if they spotted police officers.'

The gang members fled in their speedboats when they saw the police approaching. No one was arrested.

'We saw them heading east in Hong Kong waters and then gradually disappeared as they entered mainland waters.'

Senior Inspector Lai said the demand for computer components had been growing in the mainland due to the improved economy.

'The heavy tax imposed on imported goods by mainland authorities also encourages criminals to smuggle computer components to the mainland.'