Editorial : Marine cop dead amid rampant smuggling activities

【明報專訊】A SENIOR MARINE POLICE INSPECTOR passed away while carrying out anti-smuggling duties. It was the second time that a law enforcing officer had fallen overboard and died since the fatal capsizing of a customs patrol craft struck by a smugglers' vessel early last year. The incidents have highlighted the rampancy of marine smuggling activities. Armed with high-powered and "robust" speedboats, daredevil smugglers have no fear of being chased by law enforcing officers and will even ram their vessels into officers' craft. The authorities must review the equipment of anti-smuggling units in the disciplined services so as to enhance their capacity in combating criminal organisations. Because of the huge demand for meat amid the booming economy of the mainland and factors like international trade and tariffs, there has been a considerable difference between the prices of imported meat and domestic meat on the mainland in recent years, something coveted by criminal organisations. The scale of frozen-meat smuggling is so enormous that a trans-provincial industrial chain has even taken shape and the coastal area of the mouth of the Pearl River has become a smuggling blackspot. Taking advantage of the "blind spot" of law enforcement by the authorities of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Shenzhen, criminal organisations went about their illegal activities brazenly. This is a problem faced by the entire Greater Bay Area. In order to combat the smuggling organisations, the Hong Kong government should strengthen cooperation with its counterparts in Guangdong, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macao.