Marine police say they have smashed a cross-border smuggling syndicate after seizing $35 million worth of suspected smuggled goods aboard a mainland-bound cargo vessel. The haul was discovered after two policemen boarded the vessel and stopped the ship's engine off Ping Chau, near the sea boundary northeast of Hong Kong on Tuesday. Nearly 2 million VCDs - the biggest seizure of its kind this year - were found in 1,363 boxes, and two local men were arrested, police said yesterday. The Hong Kong-registered vessel was spotted north of Ping Chau shortly after 10.30pm on Tuesday when officers from the marine police's small boat division carried out surveillance at the scene as part of anti-smuggling operation. Officers were alerted when the 24-metre-long vessel was seen sailing without navigation lights. Two police boats were then deployed to follow it, according to Superintendent Jackie Ling Wai-po. 'Our officers tailed the vessel for about 15 minutes. As the vessel was about to leave Hong Kong waters, we swooped into action and ordered it to stop,' he said. 'As the ship failed to stop, two police craft drew alongside and two officers climbed on to the vessel, controlled by two crew members, and stopped the engine.' Officers said the video discs were old local category-three movies and Japanese cartoons. They were still investigating whether they infringed copyright laws. The two men, including the 55-year-old master, were arrested for attempting to export unmanifested cargo as no manifest could be produced, according to police. The two Hong Kong men were still being held for questioning last night. Mr Ling said investigations showed that after crossing the boundary, speedboats would have approached the ship and ferried the goods to coastal areas on the mainland. He said the case would be handed to the Customs and Excise Department for follow-up action.