Smugglers feel the heat on both sides of border

Local | Carine Chow 29 Sep 2021

Local and mainland police are working together to track down "two cold-blooded" smugglers responsible for the death of a female marine officer during an operation at Sha Chau on Saturday.

Sources said that has fueled a crackdown, with officers here demanding gangs behind smuggling syndicates name the culprits who rammed their speedboat into a marine interceptor on Saturday, which led to the death of 37-year-old marine region senior inspector Lam Yuen-yee and injuries for three male officers - a sergeant, a foreign senior inspector and a constable.

Lam's body was found near the shore at Yi O on Lantau on Monday, two days after she fell into the sea.

It is understood the organized crime and triad bureau will put pressure on triads behind smuggling activity. The force's special duties unit has also returned to the spot where Lam fell to gather more evidence.

Meanwhile, officers in the mainland will be stopping speedboats from heading south of the border.

Guangdong police will step up anti-smuggling operations.

A video, filmed in May that has been circulating in the mainland recently, captures a mainland anti-smuggling operation in which three helicopters were deployed to chase speedboats and gunshots were heard. Marine police speed boats joined in the operation later.

Nearly 100 boats were intercepted and 34 people were arrested, sources said.

In Hong Kong yesterday officers were stopping lorries outside Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market at Yen Chow Street West for checks on cargo receipts and whether any of them were carrying frozen goods.

The surge in smuggling activity due to the closure of borders near the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has also threatened the survival of the rare pink dolphins, Viena Mak Hei-man, vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society said yesterday.

She said up to 30 speedboats were involved each time and that the customs and marine police vessels' efforts at trying to disperse them and illegal fishing boats were not always effective, as the speedboats would return as soon as the operations were over.

"In recent months, they started to move south and stay in waters near Tai O, which is an area with the most Chinese White Dolphins," said Mak, who pointed out that the vessels' propellers and the noise they make could hurt and disturb cetaceans.

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