On Tuesday, customs made the largest seizure of pangolin scales Hong Kong has seen in five years – a month after officials seized another record-breaking shipment of pangolin scales.
Customs officers found the 7,300 kilos in sea-bound cargo arriving from Nigeria at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. The seizure is valued at about HKD14 million on the market.
The shipment, which was declared as “660 bags of recycled plastic particles,” was selected for examination after officials determined it a high-risk shipment. During the inspection, customs officers uncovered 259 bags of suspected pangolin scales.
Some of the 259 bags of suspected pangolin scales seized. Photo: Hong Kong Government
Custom officers have confiscated the suspected pangolin scales for further investigation.
On June 23, officials seized four tonnes of pangolin scales, which at the time was the largest seizure in five years.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, importing unmanifested cargo is punishable by a fine of up to HKD2 million and seven years’ imprisonment.
Furthermore, under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, anyone found importing an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of HKD5 million and two years behind bars.