An air-and-sea search in Hong Kong is under way for two suspected smugglers who jumped from their speedboat to evade capture after a dramatic chase by customs officers. At about 10.30pm on Tuesday, two speedboats, each with two men on board, were spotted by officers on an anti-smuggling mission. The boats were operating without lights in Victoria Harbour off Yau Tong, and thought to be carrying contraband. Customs deployed two high-speed pursuit crafts to intercept the speedboats, which then accelerated towards Tung Lung Chau. ‘Guerilla tactics at sea’: smugglers of frozen meat make comeback in Hong Kong “During the chase, more than 10 boxes of smuggled goods were thrown overboard from one of the speedboats in an apparent move to create obstacles for the pursuit craft,” a law enforcement source said. As authorities closed in on that boat to the west of Tung Lung Chau, the source said two men jumped into the sea in an effort to avoid being caught. He said the other boat managed to flee toward the maritime boundary with mainland China. Hong Kong customs seizes HK$23 million from suspected smugglers’ vessel Customs officers carried out a sea search at the scene, but found no trace of the two smugglers. An air-and-sea search operation was set up, with the deployment of a government helicopter, police launches and fireboats. As of 1pm on Wednesday, the search for the two men was still under way. Police seize electronic goods following high-speed sea chase Customs officers confiscated 21 boxes of contraband products in the speedboat they intercepted and retrieved another 15 boxes of goods from the waters. The source revealed that the seized goods included live turtles, pharmaceutical products, health supplements and second-hand mobile phones and tablet computers. “We believe the contraband was bound for the mainland,” he said. In Hong Kong, importing and exporting unmanifested goods carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a HK$2 million (US$254,800) fine. On Saturday, customs seized about 400kg (881lbs) of frozen Wagyu beef valued at about HK$2 million that authorities suspect was being smuggled to the mainland to meet demand for the Mid-Autumn Festival. A 44-year-old man in Sai Kung was arrested over the case. In the first five months of the year, customs officers confiscated HK$380 million worth of contraband products in 25 sea-smuggling cases. There were 42 cases totalling HK$370 million worth of illicit goods seized in the same period last year.