A 30-YEAR-OLD woman who carried more than a dozen milk powder cans across the border for parallel trading has been jailed for two months.
Fan Ling Magistrates’ Court (粉嶺裁判法院) principal magistrate Bernadette Woo Huey-fang (吳蕙芳) said that smuggling milk powder across the border for parallel trading is rampant and has become out of control.
Ng Man-ying (吳敏英) was one of 24 people in the dock for breaching the law that limits to two cans, or 1.8 kg of milk powder, the amount that can be taken out of Hong Kong, in an effort to deter traders who buy the products for resale in Shenzhen (深圳).
Ng pleaded guilty to taking 20.1kg of milk formula across the border. Two other defendants were sentenced to two and three weeks in jail suspended for one year while other offenders were fined between HK$3,300 and HK$6,900.
Woo said the number of such cases handled by the court increased to about 5,000 last year from 2,700 in 2013. She said the court will not tolerate this, and warned that if people re-offend, they will go straight to jail. Woo said she has been stricter with first-time offenders to make an example of them.
After the sentence, some residents living in Fan Ling (粉嶺) welcomed the court’s ruling, but said customs should step up the crackdown against parallel trading.
The Lands Department (地政總署) meanwhile issued a warning to some shops in Mai Kei Industrial Building (美基工業大廈) in Tuen Mun (屯門) for selling parallel goods.
(The Standard, 5 February 2015)