Two arrested for smuggling oral Covid drugs worth HK$7 million

Two men were arrested by customs for smuggling about 2,100 boxes of controlled oral Covid-19 drugs worth about HK$7 million into the city.

The duo, aged 43 and 40, will be charged with a count of importing prohibited articles not under and in accordance with an import license, and a count of possession of part I poison. They will appear in Kowloon City Court tomorrow (Sat).

Through risk analysis, customs officers intercepted and conducted customs clearance on an incoming male passenger, 43, from India at the airport yesterday (Thu). The batch of suspected controlled oral Covid drugs were found in four check-in carton boxes carried by him and he was immediately arrested.

Upon a follow-up investigation, officers found that two of the check-in carton boxes belonged the another incoming male passenger, 40, who was on the same flight. The 40-year-old man was then arrested at the airport as well.

The investigation is ongoing and customs said officers may make more arrests.

Customs reminded the public that bringing any controlled medicines without a license issued by the Department of Health into or out of Hong Kong may lead to prosecution.

However, medicines in passengers' baggage and in a reasonable quantity for personal use may be exempted from the licensing requirement.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person who imports pharmaceutical products and medicines without a valid import license commits an offense. The maximum penalty upon conviction carries a HK$500,000 and two years' imprisonment.