Woman had HK$1.9m taped to her body at border


A Hong Kong woman was arrested at a Shenzhen border checkpoint after mainland customs officers found more than HK$1.9 million in cash taped to her body and hidden in her shoes.

Customs officers say the Hong Kong-bound woman’s shifty behaviour aroused their suspicions as she was trying to pass through Shenzhen’s Futian checkpoint during the morning rush hour on Monday.

The woman, wearing a thick, black jacket, was stopped for a quick routine inspection, but officers found no illegal items in her backpack. They decided to carry out a body search, however, as the woman seemed to be extremely nervous.

“During a body search of the woman, the banknotes were found taped around her chest and thighs and some were hidden under her feet in her shoes,” the Shenzhen Evening News said.

Mainland customs confiscated a total of HK$1.5 million and ¤49,750 (HK$409,000) in cash from her.

Immigration records showed she entered and exited the mainland more than 90 times in 15 days, the report said.

The mainland customs anti-smuggling squad is investigating.

Under mainland law, travellers are in general allowed to carry up to US$5,000 in foreign currency and 20,000 yuan (HK$25,300) over the border without declaring the money. However, the cash limit also depends on the number of exits the same individual makes within a certain period.

Inbound travellers must abide by the same restrictions.

Other recent cases of attempted cash and gold smuggling have also been foiled by Shenzhen customs.

Last Wednesday, officers arrested seven Hong Kong residents who were carrying a total of US$43,500 and HK$42,000 in cash as they tried to return home through Lo Wu, the Shenzhen Evening News reported.

On March 20, a Hong Kong woman was arrested at the mainland side of Lo Wu with 8kg of gold bars, worth HK$2.5 million, taped to her body as she attempted to enter Hong Kong.

On October 23, a Hong Kong man was arrested at the Shenzhen side of the Lo Wu border checkpoint when he tried to smuggle US$255,000 in cash across the border into Hong Kong. US$20,000 was found in his travel bag while the other banknotes were taped to his chest, waist and thighs.

Source: South China Morning Post