Hong Kong driver arrested for trying to smuggle HK$11.9 million of gold bars across border at Shenzhen Bay checkpoint
Mainland officials detain man for questioning over 44kg of precious metal found hidden in car’s armrest.
A Hong Kong driver was arrested for smuggling in Shenzhen after the customs authorities found HK$11.9 million (US$1.5 million) worth of gold in his vehicle.
The man was driving back through the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint on July 3 when mainland customs officers found 44 undeclared gold bars weighing a total of 44kg in a hidden compartment in the car’s armrest.
The mainland’s General Administration of Customs said the man admitted to knowing the gold was in the car and had been detained.
On the mainland, smuggling gold can be punishable by anything from five years in prison to life behind bars in the most serious cases.
Smugglers have been active in trying to bring precious metals across the Hong Kong-mainland border in recent months.
In December, customs officials on both sides of the border arrested suspected smugglers. Hong Kong officials stopped a driver at the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint on December 10 and recovered 11kg of gold bars work HK$3.4 million.
Four days earlier, their Chinese counterparts intercepted a 31-year-old driver at Shenzhen Bay carrying 35kg of gold bars, worth HK$11 million.
Shenzhen has consistently been a popular entry point for smugglers. In 2016, Hong Kong officers stopped and arrested a 34-year-old man and recovered gold worth HK$11 million.