The mainland uncovered more than 21,100 smuggling cases worth more than 12.7 billion yuan (HK$11.9 billion) in 1999, a senior Customs official said yesterday. Ge Liancheng, deputy head of the State Anti-smuggling and Comprehensive Management Office, said in a conference in Gangzhou that initial success has been achieved in the Government's drive against smuggling. According to Xinhua, the trend appeared to have slowed down this year. It pointed out that from January to June, Customs officers investigated more than 10,000 cases but their combined value amounted to only 2.8 billion yuan. Goods seized included vehicles, cigarettes, drugs, cultural relics, edible oil and steel. A total of 2,095 suspects have been arrested. Mr Ge said that smuggling by 'legal persons' or registered companies now appeared to be under control. China has been rocked by a number of massive smuggling scandals in the past two years. Official media have reported smuggling syndicates - many involving Customs officers - were backed and run by senior government officials in Guangdong, Fujian, Shandong and even by officials in the central Government.