CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Wang Wei
Hong Kong and Shenzhen customs launched a joint crackdown on "courier" passenger activities on January 5th. It is estimated that the value of smuggled items may exceed 100 million yuan. Our reporter Li Dong has the details.
More than 600 police and customs officers from Shenzhen and Hong Kong participated in the operation on January 5th.
Fu Zhihua, is the commanding officer of one of the teams of Shenzhen customs officers.
"In our search of suspect Yang Junhao's storage venue here, we found 221 iPhones. Among them, 99 are 4s and 122 are iPhone 5s, both black and white versions."
Shenzhen customs also found more than two tons of refurbished cell phones at the site.
Ninety-five suspects have been arrested in the operation.
Li Min, deputy director of the Auti-Smuggling Bureau of Shenzhen Customs, says the operation has been productive.
"So far, we have dug out the specific chain of the four smuggling groups, including their bookings in Hong Kong, trafficking routes in Futian, Luohu and Shatoujiao, as well as the retail network on the mainland."
Because smuggling is a process involving crimes both in Hong Kong and on the mainland, the operation would not have been successful without cooperation between customs officials from both Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Brand cell phones and milk powder have been the major smuggled goods. Li Ming says smugglers use various methods to traffic these products.
"One is to use cargo vehicles. Other smuggling groups use "shi ke," which literally means "couriers." By this method, the ants move the smuggled goods through the customs inspection and then store them together."
Wang Zhi, Director of the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of Shenzhen Customs, says cooperation between the two sides has played a vital role in cracking down on the smuggling rings.
"In this operation, there has been some more in-depth cooperation between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong customs; for instance intelligence exchanges, plus some cooperative field operations at some sensitive venues."
Wang says the joint efforts of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong customs have effectively curbed smuggling via couriers.
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