HONG KONG – 16 September, 2012 – More than hundreds peoples have staged a protest at Sheung Shui MTR Station Exit C to express their anger at the number of goods couriers using the border crossings, who are being blamed for adding to congestion for two consecutive days.
The protest, initiated by netizens on Facebook earlier this week in response “Reclaim Sheung Shui Station” movement.
“Recover Sheung Shui Station! Protect our homes!” they chanted, from slogans written on placards. They said many parallel traders buying goods in the neighbourhood had created a disturbance.
The second day of protests outside Sheung Shui railway station apparently scared off smugglers, but a cultural observer feared the movement could evolve into yet another wave of discrimination against people from the mainland.
The protests erupted from years of cross-border traders enjoying free rein; now thousands of them carry boxes and baggage across the Lo Wu border to sell on the mainland every day.
The Customs & Excise Department’s crackdown on courier passenger activities has been effective, seeing reduced congestion at Lo Wu and Sheung Shui MTR Stations.
Speaking to media, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said the operation, launched on 7 September with Mainland authorities, has seen enhanced checks on people carrying goods across the boundary several times a day.
Officers have seized goods, including mobile phones, alcohol, and cigarettes. Mr Lai said the number of duty-not-paid cigarettes seized has decreased by more than 20% in the past week, and the number of people carrying undeclared duty-not-paid goods has dropped 10%.
The crackdown will continue until year’s-end, he said, adding inspections at other checkpoints will also upgraded. The Government will brief the media on the results later.
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