Two travellers sentenced for smuggling Totoaba fish maws
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Two travellers who smuggled Totoaba fish maws were convicted at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts today (February 6) for violating the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (the Ordinance).
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that the two male travellers, aged 32 and 30 respectively, had arrived at Hong Kong from Hermosillo, Mexico via Monterrey, Mexico and Seoul, South Korea. About 17 and 11 kilograms of Totoaba fish maws were found in the two check-in suitcases of these two travellers by Customs Officers respectively.
Subsequent to follow-up investigations, the AFCD charged the men with illegal import of specimens of species listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They were sentenced to imprisonment for 14 weeks and 10 weeks respectively.
Totoaba is listed in Appendix I to the CITES and regulated under the Ordinance in Hong Kong. Any person importing, exporting or re-exporting specimens of endangered species not in accordance with the Ordinance will be liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years. The specimens will also be forfeited upon conviction.
To enquire about the control of endangered species or to report suspected irregularities, the public can call the AFCD on 1823 or visit the website www.cites.hk.