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Hong Kong Customs Apprehends 22 Suspects in Fruit Smuggling Case
According to a report from the South China Morning Post, in mid-October Hong Kong customs authorities confiscated a load of fruits and frozen meats en route to the Chinese mainland worth approximately HK$20 million ($2.6 million). This represents the first time that Hong Kong authorities have confiscated smuggled high-end fruits brought in by sea. Authorities took 22 suspects into custody and seized one cargo ship and three tugboats.
Customs authorities said that the smugglers were apprehended near the island of Lung Kwu Chau to the northwest of Hong Kong. The smugglers had been using a barge as a “mobile warehouse,” after which the goods would have been transported to the Chinese mainland.
The four tons of fruit seized included grapes, melons, passion fruit, apples and yellow dragon fruit from Japan and Ecuador. It is likely that the smugglers were trying to avoid Hong Kong’s import and value-added taxes, which reach up to 90%. Had this batch of fruit made it to the mainland, the smugglers would have avoided paying up to HK$500,000 ($65,000) in taxes on the fruit alone, in addition to HK$15 million ($1.9 million) on the frozen meat.
The 240 tons of frozen meats that were seized included beef, pork, offal and chicken feet originating from the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Chile and India.
This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.
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