Surge in cross-border smuggled goods

The Macao Customs Service has seized a total of MOP12.25 million in smuggled goods in a span of two months following the unearthing of 75 cases, 20% of which involved Macau residents.

Since the beginning of this year, a total of 109 individuals were accused of committing crimes related to smuggling.

Speaking to TDM Radio, the deputy head of the bureau José Pou, said the figures recorded so far represent an increase compared to last year, when a total of MOP28 million was seized, involving 249 individuals. 

“As of February, we have already carried out a total of 14 actions to combat parallel trade, including two cross-border joint actions and in cooperation with Gongbei Customs, Public Security Police Force, Municipal Affairs Bureau and the Health Bureau,” said Pou.

The official explained that the smuggled items included household and electronic products, used cell phones and computers as well as their components. Branded clothing, food, medicines, tobacco and plants were also detected. Parallel trading or smuggling has been a problem at the Macau-Gongbei Border.

The Gongbei Customs’ attention was drawn to the fact that some syndicate members make false claims to coopted travelers, attesting that they will not be held criminally responsible if they are caught. 

The Gongbei Customs authority reiterated to travelers that parallel trade is considered smuggling, which is a criminal offense in mainland China. 

Recently, a Covid-19 positive case who traveled back and forth between Zhuhai and Macau has admitted to carrying out parallel trade. She was on a travel endorsement on the basis that she was visiting relatives. As a consequence of carrying out parallel trade, the woman is banned from entering Macau for a year. 

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