Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 02, 2023

Hong Kong customs seizes almost HK$1 million in contraband Covid-19 drugs

Hong Kong customs seizes almost HK$1 million in contraband Covid-19 drugs

Five truck drivers arrested after customs mount six day operation targeting three border crossings.

About HK$940,000 (US$120,000) worth of medicine often used to treat Covid-19 symptoms has been seized at border checkpoints by Hong Kong customs officials.

Officers targeted three checkpoints with mainland China and a total of five trucks, four outgoing and one incoming, were intercepted. The five drivers, all men aged between 38 and 59, were arrested.

The smuggled drugs included the traditional Chinese over-the-counter medicine Lianhua Qingwen. It is said to be effective in the treatment of symptoms such as fever and sore throat. It has also been backed as an effective treatment for mild Covid-19.

Customs also seized other pain and fever treatments, as well as some unpackaged pills.

In addition, related items, such as rapid antigen test kits, fever patches, and thermometers were impounded.


Contraband medicine found inside a truck stopped at the border with mainland China.

“The total quantity of the smuggled goods came to more than 3,900 items, with an estimated market value of about HK$940,000,” a customs spokesman said. “The items seized were not covered by import or export licences.”

The trucks had been declared as carrying no goods or transporting express parcels or electronic parts.

The smuggled drugs and supplies were intercepted at the checkpoints at Shenzhen Bay, Man Kam To and Lok Ma Chau.

Customs officials said some of the contraband was concealed in drivers’ cabs and other items inside containers.

The six-day operation, which ran to New Year’s Day, came as mainland China’s recent jump in the number of Covid-19 cases sparked a scramble for drugs, which pushed up prices and forced some stores to introduce a limit on purchases.

Panic buying also spilled over into Hong Kong people with relatives and friends on the mainland snapping up painkillers for shipment across the border.

Painkillers and other pharmaceutical products are controlled under the Import and Export Ordinance and need a permit issued by the health authorities before they can be taken out of Hong Kong.

But it is normal practice for customs officers to allow people who cross the border visitors or commuters to possess reasonable amounts for personal use.

Customs officials warned on Tuesday that smuggling was a “serious offence” and anyone caught with undeclared cargo could face a fine of up to HK$2 million and seven years in jail.

They added that anyone found with controlled drugs without the correct paperwork could be hit with a HK$100,000 fine and two years in jail.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China
×