Chinese police arrest luxury watch smuggling ring

10:43, October 14, 2010      

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Police in central China's Hubei province have arrested members of a crime ring suspected of smuggling tens of thousands of top-brand luxury watches from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland, local officials said Wednesday.

Four suspects -- who had been arrested in June and have since been placed in custody -- were accused of smuggling 14,000 watches of different brands including Rolex, Longines, Tissot and Enicar, valued at 100 million yuan (about 15 million U.S. dollars), customs authorities at Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, told reporters.

The watches were first purchased in Hong Kong and then carried by individual smugglers over the borders to the city of Shenzhen. Then the watches were sent to the smuggling ring's hub in Wuhan using express delivery services before they ended up on the shelves of watch stores in a couple of mainland cities, officials said.

The police continue to investigate the case while authorities are mulling auctioning the confiscated watches.



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