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Crime

Hong Kong Customs seize US$2.6 million worth of smartphones and watches from mainland China-bound truck

  • Haul is the second seizure in four days at the Lok Ma Chau immigration checkpoint
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 8:02pm

Smartphones and watches worth a total of HK$20 million (US$2.6 million) were found hidden in a Shenzhen-bound container truck at an immigration border checkpoint, Hong Kong Customs said on Tuesday.

It followed the seizure of HK$30 million worth of high-end products such as bird’s nests and camera lens at the same checkpoint at Lok Ma Chau in October. The earlier one was the biggest seizure of cross-border land contraband in the past three years.

The latest smuggling case was detected on Monday when customs officers intercepted an outbound truck at the control point for inspection.

“Customs officers seized the batch of smartphones and watches in the driver’s cabin,” the Customs and Excise Department said in a statement on Tuesday. “The 36-year-old male driver was arrested.”

It said the smuggled goods were 5,443 smartphones and 90 watches and the haul had an estimated street value of about HK$20 million.

Investigations were continuing, according to the department.

It was the second seizure of smuggled goods at the Lok Ma Chau control point in four days.

Last Thursday, customs officers arrested a 34-year-old driver following the seizure of 677 computer central processing units in a concealed compartment in his Shenzhen-bound car. The haul had an estimated street value of HK$1.1 million.

In Hong Kong, importing or exporting unmanifested cargo carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a HK$2 million fine under the Import and Export Ordinance.