Chinese customs breaks $4.4m smuggling ring

By Doug Newhouse |

Chinese customsMainland Chinese Customs recently smashed a $4.4m South Korean cosmetics smuggling racket operating between the Chinese port of Ningbo and Incheon Port, South Korea.


This follows a crackdown on organised crime smuggling branded goods into China, according to the General Administration of Customs in the People’s Republic of China.


According to China Customs, this latest raid which it has made public involved the seizure of more than 110,000 pieces of cosmetics in the Ningbo port and industrial hub in east China’s Zhejiang province [south of Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay-Ed].


The smuggled South Korean brands included Sulwhasoo, Whoo, Mamonde and Laneige. Customs said in a statement that the head of the operation – referred to only as ‘Li’ – admitted that the operation has smuggled nine containers into China worth more than $4.4m from South Korea since November 2013, using false declarations.


Customs officers examine the smuggled cosmetics from South Korea

Customs officers examine the smuggled cosmetics brands originally labelled as ‘plastic particles’ from South Korea. (Photo credit: The General Administration of Customs in the People’s Republic of China).


The operation also smuggled charcoal back into China using the empty containers which were labelled as ‘plastic particles’ on the official documentation.


Customs officers smashed the ring after raiding cargo storage facilities on the wharf at Ningbo where the cosmetics were temporarily stored before being distributed into the Chinese black market.



Exactly where these cosmetics brands were originally sourced within South Korea will obviously be a matter of some interest to the original manufacturers, distributors and retailers.


Meanwhile, the General Administration of Customs in the People’s Republic of China says it is now employing considerable resources to try to stem the tide of all branded smuggling – both in and outside of China.


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