SMUGGLING

Suspected jade smugglers evade Hong Kong police by speedboat

Officials trying to establish value of seven football-sized raw stones believed destined for mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 3:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 10:50pm

Seven football-sized raw jade stones have been confiscated in Hong Kong in a joint anti-smuggling operation on Monday night, with the suspected smugglers evading arrest by speedboat.

Officers are trying to establish the value of the haul that was believed to be destined for the mainland for polishing and manufacturing jade ornaments, sources said.

But four suspected smugglers fled in a speedboat heading towards the mainland and outran a pursuing Marine police vessel. No arrests have been made.

The joint land and sea operation mounted by Marine Police and the Customs and Excise Department began on Monday evening. During the operation, officers waited at smuggling black spots and enhanced their patrol.

The four men abandoned the goods and jumped into a speedboat that sped away
Hong Kong police report

At about 8pm Monday, four men were found pushing two trolleys loaded with bags of goods at a pier off Sham Wat Road on the western end of Lantau, police said.

“As law enforcement officials moved in to intercept them, the four men abandoned the goods and jumped into a speedboat that sped away,”a police report said.

At the pier, officers seized seven jade pieces and the trolleys. Customs officers were following up.

Police said exporting unmanifested cargo carries a maximum penalty of a seven-year imprisonment and a HK$2 million fine under the Import and Export Ordinance.

Members of the public may report suspected smuggling activities to Customs’ 24-hour hotline on +852 2545 6182.