1,700 tonnes of frozen beef seized in Hong Kong smuggling raid

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Hong Kong authorities have seized a record 1,700 tonnes of frozen meat worth HK$500 million that was destined for mainland China, police said on Tuesday.

The haul, including mainly frozen beef and some offal, was found in 68 40ft shipping containers. The meat weighed the equivalent of about 2,300 cows, and was more than the contraband seized by local officers last year and so far this year combined.

A police source said the operation was part of the force’s ongoing crackdown against triad gangs behind cross-border smuggling activities after the death of Senior Inspector Lam Yuen-yee, who died during a maritime operation 10 days ago.

Lam was killed during an anti-smuggling operation on September 25. She and three colleagues were thrown overboard after their vessel was rammed by a turbocharged speedboat they were trying to intercept off Sha Chau.

Lam’s body was found two days later floating in the waters off Lantau Island.

The seizure was more than the HK$480 million of luxury goods, frozen meat and other contraband confiscated by local authorities in 52 cross-border maritime smuggling cases in the first eight months of this year.

Police and customs bagged HK$490 million worth of smuggled goods in 62 cases in 2020.

Chief Inspector AuYeung Tak, of the New Territories North anti-triad squad, said the latest operation targeted speedboats used in smuggling and intercepting criminals’ sources of income by seizing the contraband.



by Clifford Lo / South China Morning Post

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