$240K worth of smuggled Australian lobsters seized by Hong Kong

$240K worth of smuggled Australian lobsters

$240K worth of smuggled Australian lobsters seized by Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities have seized over three tonnes of smuggled Australian lobsters worth $240K. They suspected that the tonnes of lobsters had been smuggled from Australia.

The Hong Kong officials estimate the smuggled Australian lobsters are about $240K worth. They caught lobsters in containers full of crustaceans. Some of those were still crawling around.

Australian lobsters were thought to be on their way in the stockpile to mainland China for the Lunar New Year. China will celebrate its first Lunar New Year on Feb 10, 2024.

Hong Kong Customs Superintendent Jason Lau Yuk-lung said investigators disrupted the alleged smuggling scheme. When customs officers found four individuals putting boxes from tricycles onto two-seat boats at Lantau Island between Hong Kong and mainland China.

According to Jason, the smugglers turned off the navigation lights of vessels. He told customs officers moved in and attempted to interrupt those on the seashore. However, the loading crew abandoned the cargo ship and jumped onto the two-seat boats to escape on the arrival of customs officers.

$240K worth of smuggled Australian lobsters

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Customs officers witnessed them taking the boats towards the Chinese waters. The three tricycle drivers got out of their vehicles and escaped on foot. Meanwhile, the officers collected dozens of lobster cartons and five tricycles. But they failed to arrest anyone.

According to Jason, luxurious culinary items such as lobsters are in high demand on the Chinese mainland ahead of the Lunar New Year. However, the lobsters have a tax of about 80% on the Chinese mainland. If smugglers had successfully passed cargo ships across the Island, smugglers could have saved around 191,000 Australian dollars in taxes.

However, it came after Chinese officials suspended the import of Australian lobster to China in late 2020. China turned down the imported lobsters from Australia due to metal contamination fears. It was a $700 million worthy business.

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