Hong Kong — Hong Kong and mainland authorities seized about $ 540,000 worth of smuggled Australian red shrimp, which would be heading to the mainland, after China restricted crustacean imports amid heightened tensions with Australia.
Hong Kong officials said at a press conference on Friday that customs and Chinese law enforcement agencies had confiscated about £ 11,650 of red shrimp and arrested 13 people.
The seizure occurred after China imposed an informal import ban at the end of last year and the recent surge in Australian lobster imports into Hong Kong. Monthly imports of Australian red shrimp into Hong Kong have more than doubled since then, officials said.
The ban on Chinese red shrimp came after the Australian Government promoted an international investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Since then, China has blocked trade in other Australian imports such as wine, barley, cotton and coal.
“We believe smuggling syndicates may use improper means to smuggle Australian red shrimp into mainland China and pursue profits,” said Rita Lee of the Syndicate Crime Investigation Agency in Hong Kong. increase.
She said the shortage of Australian red shrimp on the mainland has spurred smuggling via Hong Kong.
By Zen Soo