Customs officers have seized HK$400,000 (1.56 million baht) worth of bird’s nest from a car at the border checkpoint of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge port, the first smuggling case involving an outgoing vehicle detected at the site.
Officers intercepted the outgoing private car on Tuesday at the Hong Kong port of the multibillion-dollar bridge, which opened in October.
The Customs and Excise Department found 10 kilogrammes of the popular and precious delicacy in a spare tyre concealed in an altered structure underneath the rear of the SUV, which was about to cross the 55 kilometre mega bridge.
The male driver, 23, was arrested.
A department spokesman said it was the first time smuggling activities were detected in an outgoing private car stopped at the port since the bridge was launched.
An investigation was in progress.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of HK$2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
In April, customs seized 105kg of smuggled bird’s nest worth HK$3.5 million in an operation.
Officers stopped an outgoing private car at Shenzhen Bay border checkpoint, recovering 7kg of the delicacy. A further 79kg and 19kg were later seized at an industrial unit in Kwai Chung and a flat in Sham Shui Po. The male driver, 42, and a woman, 47, were arrested.
In the past 18 months, customs seized 1,112kg of smuggled bird’s nest in 14 cases.