Hong Kong Police Force Makes Largest Smuggling Bust Worth $ 26.9 Million

Hong Kong (AP) — Hong Kong officials said Thursday that they seized goods containing an estimated $ 26.9 million worth of endangered species and created the largest smuggling bust.

The government said the smuggling ring was operated using speedboats and four trucks were also seized in the assault.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in an operation that began in June, and details were to be announced. According to a statement, the customs and maritime police small boat divisions were descendants of smugglers operating in the New Territories of the city near mainland China on September 23.

“This is the largest smuggling case of any form of air, sea or land smuggling that Customs has recorded in terms of seizures,” the government said.

The seized items exhibited at the press conference included endangered plants, luxury handbags, cigars, and shark fins, which are highly regarded as a delicacy of Southern Chinese cuisine.

Semi-autonomous southern Chinese cities are in high demand for luxury goods, along with abundant air and sea connections to the world market. However, a press conference official said smuggled goods appear to be targeted at customers in mainland China.