A Hong Kong man was arrested with stacks of cash strapped to his body on Wednesday as he was suspected of attempting to smuggle over half a million US dollars across the border into Shenzhen.
The man was trying to cross Sha Tau Kok customs at around midnight but was reported to have been detained by border police after acting suspiciously.
When ordered to open his luggage for inspection, the man “abruptly discarded the bag and began to flee towards Chun Ying Street before he was overpowered by border police officers”, Xinhua reported.
Police later revealed he had been carrying US$580,000 (HK$4.5 million) in bags and strapped to his body.
One photo posted online shows thick stacks of US$100 bills attached to the man’s lower legs, hidden under his jeans. He was reported to have also had money wrapped around his waist. After customs officers had searched him the piles of cash spread across an entire table, another photo shows.
Chinese law stipulates travellers are in general only allowed to carry up to US$5,000 worth of foreign currency when entering the mainland without submitting a declaration form.
The state news agency described the case as “extraordinarily serious”, a phrase in Chinese used to describe the most serious level of offence.
Guangdong’s provincial border control authority that polices the Sha Tau Kok customs said it could not provide details of the case because of its sensitivity when the South China Morning Post made inquiries on Thursday.
In February a Hong Kong resident was fined nearly HK$1 million after he was apprehended trying to enter the mainland carrying HK$5.5 million.
He later told police that he was intending to use the money to purchase a home, and that he didn’t use a bank wire service because he wanted to save the 5 per cent commission.