• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:47pm

Parallel trading

The influx of parallel traders who buy their stock tax-free in Hong Kong to resell it in mainland China at a profit is causing growing unrest. Residents of Sheung Shui, a town close to China's border, say the increase in parallel importers has pushed up retail prices and causes a general nuisance. Importers argue that their trade benefits the Hong Kong economy.

NewsHong Kong

Police arrest more parallel traders amid crackdown

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 7:26pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 8:02pm
 

Law enforcement agencies vowed to crack down on parallel traders near the border as they made a second series of arrests on mainlander traders this week in North district on Friday afternoon.

The latest arrests – 5 men and 3 women, all of whom hold two-way permits – were made at an industrial centre some 10 minutes’ walk from Sheung Shui MTR station, a hot location that parallel traders use to transport their wares back to the mainland.

Immigration and police officers who jointly conduct the operation also served summons to three other Hongkongers involved in the trade at a shopping centre nearby for obstructing public access.

Principal immigration officer Wong Yin-sang said the mainlanders were arrested on suspicion of breaching conditions of stay by illegally working in Hong Kong.

“Our strategy is to take law enforcement action at any time and at any location, with a view to cracking down on the source,” Wong said.

This was the second arrest of mainlanders amid snowballing discontent among residents in border areas over parallel goods traders.

On Wednesday, the police and the Immigration Department arrested 131 mainland parallel traders in a crackdown launched after the government promised to cope with what residents see as an increasing problem.

Of the 131 people arrested previously, Wong said eight people – four men and four women – had now been charged with breaching conditions of stay. The remaining 123 had all been repatriated and put on a watch list by the Immigration Department.

“Although no prosecution has been laid against these 123 people, we have put them on our watch list. On their next visit to Hong Kong we will ask them the purpose of their visit in detail. If there is anything suspicious, we will deny them entry,” Wong said.

The so-called parallel traders stock up on everything from iPads to milk powder, taking advantage of lower prices and a wider choice in the city – and avoid paying large duties on the goods on their return.

Sheung Shui residents staged protests this week against the traders, who they say are a nuisance. Officials said mainlanders caught illegally working in the city risk having their travel permits cancelled.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

3

This article is now closed to comments

Camel
It seems HK officials and authorities have not a clue what they are doing and how things should be settled. At the National Education no one just even bother to look thoroughly into the matter and how the subject could be brought into the education system. They assigned someone from the mainland university to prepare some essay and samples and without evaluation and study they just copied it. In school you would be expelled for this laziness.Then the influx of Mainland mother giving birth in HK. Instead of questioning the Basic Law, trying to work with Beijing on the matter, solve and changing it, changing the Immigration regulation they just announce a zero quota, which never would stay a chance against one who challenge this in court. And now this. Breach of regulation of stay? Illegal working in HK? How about if I say, I buy the whole truck of goods just to store a year of food at my home for my private consumption and I do not work for anybody but myself? It seems no one of the official in HK currently working for the government has experience, know what to do or is competent to run the government.
xiaoblueleaf
It seems there is no legal basis of arrest and prosecution of "parallel traders". For breach of condition of stay? What may be the evidence or proof of what guilt? Since when police is granted such arbitrary power of arrest? Such action is hasty and arbitrary; that some of our innocent compatriots will be hurt. .Hong Kong has the right to refuse entry on ones suspected of frequent visits for purpose of parallel trade, or impose custom tariff on excessive goods carried across our border.Once again HKSAR government is reacting hastily as soon as there are signs of trouble without thinking through the consequences and without a longer-term plan of dealing with the problem once emerged - just like "National Education".
shafinhk
Doctor my neighbor is sick, can i eat medicine so he can heal up? Hong Kong is free market, people can come and buy anything they like by spending their money, who are you to STOP them?
you should ask the mainland authorities to correct their home, don't issue permits easily and charge these people tax on the goods they are taking. STUPID Hong Kong immigration and police are just wasting their time and my money because i pay TAX.
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or