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|Friday, May 04, 2001, updated at 16:40(GMT+8)|
Zhuhai customs hit smugglers hardCars and car parts, processed oil, edible oil and high-tech products used to be favourites for smugglers in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.
But this year they have been finding it increasingly difficult to realize their smuggling plans, China Daily reports.
According to Yang Ziguang, an officer with Gongbei Customs in Zhuhai, the office dealt with 300 smuggling cases with an estimated value of 43 million yuan (US$5.2 million) during the first quarter of the year.
Of the cases, 11 were major ones worth 29.4 million yuan (US$3.5 million) in total.
But compared to the same period last year, the number of cases has declined thanks to customs' steady anti-smuggling efforts and a clampdown on illegal ships around the mouth of the Pearl River, Yang said.
In March, customs stopped two ships carrying smuggled edible oil and confiscated 160 tons of the substance with an estimated value of 700,000 yuan (US$84,337).
This was the largest smuggling case so far this year.
High-tech products have become a new choice for smugglers in recent years because of the large price gap between domestic and foreign markets. Moreover, high-tech goods are small in size and easy to hide.
Since the beginning of the year, customs has enhanced the inspection of high-tech goods smuggling and dealt with 37 cases of trafficked computers and electronic devices hidden in cars and freight ships with a total value of 6.5 million yuan (US$783,000).
Other smuggled goods confiscated include stainless steel plates and fish, according to Yang.
During the Spring Festival period this year, smugglers were encouraged by the big price differences between fish in Zhuhai and Hong Kong, which face each other across the Pearl River.
The rampant smuggling disturbed the market in Hong Kong, leading to a continuous slump in the price of fish.
Gongbei Customs promptly launched a campaign, confiscating 37,000 kilograms of smuggled fish in the first quarter. Very soon, the price of fish in Hong Kong became normal again.
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