An illegal shipment of live birds and endangered furs has been seized by customs officers and marine police in North Lantau.
Officers intercepted the cargo in an anti-smuggling operation on Monday night, as the goods were being loaded onto a Shenzhen-bound speedboat at Shau Shui Kok Drive, near the North Lantau Highway.
The alarm was raised at around 7.30pm, when a delivery van was spotted dropping a number of boxes off at the waterfront. Four men were then seen loading them onto a speedboat. The men abandoned the goods when police arrived and fled towards the mainland. No arrests have been made so far.
Upon inspection, the cargo was found to contain 14 boxes of animal furs worth over HK$1 million, 46 endangered macaws and 24 magpie-robins. It is believed that the birds were being smuggled to avoid mainland authority restrictions.
According to Hong Kong law, the maximum penalty for attempting to export unmanifested cargo is a HK$2 million fine and seven years imprisonment. In addition, any person found guilty of exporting an endangered species without a license is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and two years in prison.