Five men escape into mainland waters after Hong Kong police swoop on alleged smuggling job
One man arrested on Sai Ying Pun waterfront as alleged partners outrun Marine Police boat
A boat carrying at least five alleged smugglers outran Hong Kong’s Marine Police on Wednesday and escaped into mainland waters, after officers swooped on what they said was a handoff of HK$5.5 million worth of goods to be sneaked across the border.
Police arrested a Hongkonger, a suspected accomplice, whom the others left behind on the Sai Ying Pun waterfront after aborting the job in the early hours.
The man, 55, was in a lorry which had carried 49 boxes of electronic components and 25 boxes of suspected cough syrup to the shore at Eastern Street North, the force said.
According to police, officers monitored the situation from 10pm on Tuesday.
At about 1am, they found four men trying to shift the boxes from the lorry to the speedboat at the waterfront, near Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park.
As officers moved in, the four men abandoned the goods and jumped into the speedboat, joining at least one other man, police said.
A police boat chased the group, but the speedboat won the race and left Hong Kong waters, heading towards the mainland.
The driver was held on suspicion of violating the Import and Export Ordinance, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a HK$2 million fine. Officers seized the goods.
Police said the Customs and Excise Department would follow up on the case.