Hong Kong customs reports 40 pct more smuggling cases in 2013

Xinhua
January 30, 2014

Hong Kong’s customs authority on Wednesday revealed that it had detected a total of 282 smuggling cases in 2013, an increase of about 40 percent compared with 2012.

The commissioner of Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise, Clement Cheung, said that the total seizures of the smuggling cases worth 652 million HK dollars ($83.97 million), an increase of 90 percent.

Cheung said as smuggling between China’s mainland and Hong Kong had been on the rise and more complicated, the customs restructured its internal organs in early 2013 to improve effectiveness of joint operations with the mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies.

Since the implementation of export control on powdered formula for infants and young children in March 2013, about 4,300 cases have been detected with more than 33,000 kg of powdered formula seized at various customs control points as of the end of last year.

Cheung said that the department would continue to liaise closely with its mainland counterpart and spare no efforts in combating parallel trading activities.

For anti-narcotics work, the authority detected a total of 518 cases and seized 445 kg of various kinds of drugs, 75 percent of which were detected at Hong Kong International Airport. As for the cases involving controlled chemicals used for drug manufacturing, the number of cases increased two times over 2012 to 33, the majority of which were related to pseudoephedrine.

Cheung said the department would set up a dedicated team to strengthen external liaison and intelligence exchange for maintaining high enforcement effectiveness.

On endangered species, 192 cases involving ivory tusks and ivory products, rhino horns, leopard skin, pangolin carcass and scale and dried sea horses were detected in 2013.

The quantity and value of ivory tusks seized in 2013 increased by 43 percent and 115 percent respectively compared with those of 2012, which proves Hong Kong’s dedication and perseverance in shouldering its international obligations, Cheung said.

On intellectual property rights protection, the number of infringement cases detected increased by 30 percent to 720, of which 88 percent involved counterfeit goods.

Cheung said with the growing popularity of the Internet and rapid growth of e-commerce, the cases of online sale of counterfeit goods and that of delivering infringing goods by courier services surged by 1.7 and 1.5 times respectively.

The department has strengthened communication with Hong Kong Post and is liaising with the logistics industry to address the issue at source, he said.

Deputy commissioner of the department, Luke Au Yeung, said that the department would set up a dedicated team to foster liaison and intelligence exchange with the mainland and overseas enforcement agencies to combat transnational drugs trafficking.

Enforcement at source would be able to curb the inflow of drugs to Hong Kong or other destinations via Hong Kong, further enhancing the department’s drug detection capability at the Hong Kong International Airport and land boundary control points, he said.

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