Customs officials battle smuggling surge

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 6:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 6:49pm

Customs officials in China are grappling with an increase in smuggling, particularly banned items such as drugs, weapons and endangered animals, state media reported on Tuesday.

The value of goods seized from January to September increased by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to customs figures published by the China Daily.

It said there were 1,415 cases involving goods worth 22.8 billion yuan (US$3.66 billion) over the period, with 549 seizures relating to illegal items such as drugs, protected animals and plants and weapons and ammunition.

Drugs and firearms and ammunition “have a serious impact” on national security and social stability, said Chen Jianxin, deputy director of China’s General Administration of Customs’ anti-smuggling bureau.

China’s overall trade reached US$2.84 trillion during the first nine months of the year, up 6.2 per cent year on year, the newspaper said.