Hong Kong Customs officials have seized an estimated HK$100 million (USD $12.8 million) worth of smuggled goods, including 2,000 bottles of wines, in a major crackdown.
This comes on the heels of the city’s largest smuggling case earlier this year, where over 20,000 bottles of wine were confiscated as we have reported.
The operation, dubbed “Wave Breaker,” ran from August to September. Acting on intelligence that indicated criminals were using ocean-going and river trade vessels for smuggling, officials inspected three vessels bound for Malaysia, one for Shanghai, and two river trade vessels heading to Nansha and Macao.
Based on iamges released by customs authorities, bottles from Italy’s Zenato and Tenuta San Guido are among the haul. Also identified were three Bourgogne wines: Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur Hautes Cotes de Nuits, Geantet-Pansiot Gevrey-Chambertin Village “En Champs”, and Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin La Gibryotte.
In addition to the wines, officials found over 500,000 electronic products, about 240 pallets of electronic wastes, seven tonnes of suspected shark fins, and three tonnes of frozen meat.
Three men, aged between 40 and 54, were arrested in connection with the smuggling cases and have been released on bail. Further arrests have not been ruled out.
Smuggling is a grave offence in Hong Kong. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, those found guilty of smuggling unmanifested cargo can face a fine of HK$2 million and seven years of imprisonment.