Parallel trading

CityU student jailed seven years by mainland court for smuggling fake firearms across border

Defendant was paid HK$500 by parallel traders to take 12 items from Hong Kong to Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 May, 2017, 10:56am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 May, 2017, 4:40pm

A university student from Hong Kong has been jailed for seven years by a mainland court for smuggling imitation firearms across the border.

The 23-year-old City University student was found by Shenzhen customs to have illegally brought in 12 imitation items and was arrested on July 27, Guangzhou Daily reported on Wednesday.

The Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court handed down the seven-year imprisonment term and a fine of 20,000 yuan (HK$22,600) in December.

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The court heard that the student had been recruited to help parallel traders, who buy their stock tax free in Hong Kong and resell it in mainland China at a profit, to take the haul from Hong Kong to Shenzhen for a reward of HK$500.

The report said he had filed an appeal, claiming that he had been told he was just delivering electronic parts.

The court also heard that the student was introduced to the traders by a former classmate, with both of them seeking to make some money by bringing goods into mainland.

The student was handed the package at Sheung Shui MTR station, and he did not open it before bringing it across the border checkpoint, the report said.

He was then intercepted by mainland customs officers, who unpacked the goods and found the fake guns.

The student’s mother told reporters on Wednesday night that her son was obedient and had been supporting the family by doing part-time jobs.

The woman said she was not in good health but was trying to work in order to pay for a lawyer to bring her son back.

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The student’s elder brother told the media that his brother had been admitted to an associate degree programme after secondary school. He studied hard and earned a chance to enter university last summer, but his studies had to be put on hold.

The brother added that their father was unemployed, and suffered from dementia, diabetes and heart problems.

A spokesman from the university confirmed on Wednesday that the man was a student at the institution. The school will contact his family and provide the appropriate assistance.