Smugglers escape in speedboat, leaving haul of endangered species and 14 boxes of furs worth a total of HK$2 million
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2016, 5:09pm
Forty-six endangered macaws were confiscated along with 24 magpie robins and 14 boxes of furs in an anti-smuggling operation on Lantau Island.
The consignment worth HK$2 million was the first such seizure of live birds in the city in a decade, according to a police source with knowledge of the operation.
Marine police and customs officers launched the raid on Monday night as the goods were being loaded on to a Shenzhen-bound speedboat.
“Because of the scare of bird flu, no live birds had been discovered in any sea-bound smuggling activities in the past 10 years,” the source said on Tuesday.
It is understood a macaw is worth about HK$10,000 in Hong Kong. “But they can be sold for between HK$20,000 and HK$30,000 each on mainland China,” the source said. “A rare species could be sold for as much as US$20,000.”
He believed the macaws were imported into the city legitimately but were being exported illegally to escape stringent restrictions imposed by mainland authorities.