Syndicates behind rampant cross-border parallel trading have a new tactic to help smugglers evade arrest as the government steps up its crackdown.
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Parallel trading has created inconveniences for a large number of Hong Kong residents. The blame has been placed on mainland visitors. However, they are not the only ones moving goods across the land border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Shops closed and tensions ran high in Tuen Mun on Sunday as a protest against parallel-goods trading descended into chaotic scenes, arrests and pepper spray.
A check of the mainland side of the Lo Wu border checkpoint at the weekend found several dozen traders with trolleys full of milk powder. They were collecting different brands and handing out cash to travellers.
Dr Ko Wing-man promised legislators that the government would review the measure after it had sorted out a system with suppliers and retailers to ensure a more stable supply.
Ko Wing-man has responded to questions regarding the controversial two-tin cap on infant formula exports in an interview with the Beijing News published on Wednesday,
Parallel-goods traders are already finding ways to dodge the two-tin limit on baby formula – weeks before the government is set to approve the new rule.
Tourism Board chairman and Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun said he welcomed measures to clamp down on trading of the milk powder, but called for an end to the scheme's multi-entry permits. He said visitors from Shenzhen should be limited to a single entry per day.
As an elderly man angrily denied accusations he was a parallel-goods trader, his shouts drew in dozens of police officers, who escorted him from the scene.