Customs bust smuggler with $11m worth of gold

Local | Phoenix Un 8 Dec 2017

Customs officers have arrested a 31-year-old man who was trying to smuggle 35 kilograms of gold bullion worth HK$11 million into Hong Kong.

It was the third such case in three months and the authorities believe they are part of a smuggling syndicate, the leaders of which are still at large.

In the latest case, the man was stopped for a spot check as he was entering Hong Kong via the Shenzhen Bay Port late on Wednesday. However, officers became suspicious as he was evasive in behavior and in answers to their questions, so they searched the car thoroughly.

A total of 35 gold bars, each weighing one kilogram, were found in the trunk and the driver was arrested when he could not present any mainland export ratification or Hong Kong import declaration of gold.

The importation or exportation of undeclared goods can result in seven years' imprisonment and a fine of HK$2 million.

On October 15 customs seized 15 pieces of gold bullion worth HK$5 million in a car at the Lok Ma Chau Control Point.

On November 23, customs seized 10 pieces of bullion worth HK$3.3 million on a truck in Man Kam To Control Point.

Gold trafficking from the mainland to Hong Kong has increased in recent months as China has strict regulations on the import and export of the precious metal.

In addition, the cost of gold in the mainland is up to HK$2,000 cheaper per kilogram than in Hong Kong.

Another lucrative trade is to ship gold from the mainland to Hong Kong and then to Japan where the price is even higher.

In addition, some investors are beginning to hoard gold because of the tense situation caused by North Korea's nuclear and missile program and the increasing chaotic situation in the Middle East.

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