Hong Kong cracks down on parallel trading

Government officials in Hong Kong joined forces in a three-day crackdown on parallel trading activities, resulting in more than 60 arrests and the seizing of about $870,000 worth of goods.
Joint operations against parallel trading in the North District (including Lok Ma Chau and Sheung Shui) were held by the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department (C&ED), Immigration Department (ImmD) and Hong Kong Police Force in preparation for the peak Lunar New Year travelling season.
After collecting and analysing information on the parallel trading network, the C&ED pinpointed suspected storage and packing establishments, passing its intelligence to the ImmD and police.
In three days, C&ED detected 49 cases of attempting to export unlicensed powdered formula, involving around 487kg of product and leading to 49 arrests.
Along with Shenzhen authorities, the C&ED targeted parallel trading at major border control points over the three days, seizing goods with a total value of about $610,000 – mainly electronic equipment – in 28 cases.
Meanwhile, the ImmD and police arrested 11 Mainland China residents suspected of being involved in parallel trading activities. The ImmD also strengthened interception methods to pinpoint suspects, and during the past month refused entry to more than 1600 individuals thought to be involved in parallel trading.
Over the three-day crackdown, police arrested three male and three female Hong Kong residents suspected of “entering a closed area without permit”. Officials seized about $260,000 worth of goods.
Targeting such issues as obstruction and nuisance in public places caused by parallel traders and stores, the police held six joint raids with the Hong Kong Food & Environmental Hygiene Department, issuing 82 warnings against obstruction and violating a smoking ban.
Police also stepped up enforcement actions against road obstructions caused by illegal parking and loading of goods connected with parallel trading. In the three days, more than 250 fixed-penalty tickets were issued. Targeting illegal conduct involving taxis, the police have prosecuted 41 drivers for carrying illegal goods, two drivers for refusing to accept a hire and 19 drivers for soliciting.
Strict actions will continue against parallel trading, and the government has warned residents not to risk breaking the law by taking parallel trading items across the Chinese border.

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