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Thursday, Jan 27, 2022

Three gangs smuggle HK$7 billion of frozen meat a year

Three gangs are the mastermind behind frozen meat smuggling activities that took place in the waters between Hong Kong and mainland, where they gain up to HK$7 billion a year from tax evasion.
A report from East Week revealed that three gangs, aiming to generate a huge profit from the tariff difference between Hong Kong and mainland, are behind the whole smuggling operation.

Currently, the mainland government imposes tax as high as 80 percent on imported frozen meat, which also has to meet certain legal and food safety requirements. This means mainland merchants have to pay up to HK$4 million tax for frozen meat worth HK$5 million. The SAR government on the other hand charges zero tariff.

According to the report, the criminals first imported the frozen meat to Hong Kong legally before smuggling it to merchants in areas like Nansha in Guangzhou, Qianhai in Shenzhen and cities like Zhuhai and Dongguan.

They could transfer over a hundred tonnes of frozen meat and gain up to HK$300,000 each trip. If there are multiple trips, some could even gain over HK$1 million in a day.

The report also cited sources that the waters near Sha Chau, the airport's third runway and the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge are the hot spots for smugglers as these areas are close to Shekou in Shenzhen and are covered by various construction sites.

Over a hundred speedboats would stand by in these areas and wait for orders. They are all equipped with at least five to six extra engines and can go over 50 miles per hour. The full speed of these vessels could even allow smugglers to travel from the airport's third runway to the mainland in a matter of minutes if they run into police.

The report added that the three gangs have control over at least six public cargo working areas, including the one in Stonecutters Island, Rambler Channel in Tsuen Wan and the one in New Yau Ma Tei.

The situation has drawn the attention of law enforcement following the death of marine cop Lam Yuen-yee, who lost her life when chasing smugglers in Tuen Mun in late September.

Police commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee therefore led his team to Shenzhen last Thursday to meet with mainland authorities. A special task force comprising of local and mainland law enforcement was formed, aiming to eradicate these smuggling activities and the masterminds behind them.

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