Public House Abused for Smuggling

Residents complained to NDPICG that they have seen via the elevator CCTV that a lot of smugglers visit their building to pick up goods. NDPICG took an investigation and found that a woman has used a supermarket shopping cart to move a large pile of Yakult and milk powders into a flat.

Mr Wong, Wellcome manager, has verified the shopping cart was stolen from his supermarket as no deposit has been paid for the cart.

The address of the suspected flat is: Room 721, Choi Lai House, Choi Yuen Estate, Sheung Shui, NT, Hong Kong.

Japanese Tasted Catfish Caught from Ng Tung River, said “It’s Stinky!”

A Japanese caught a 110 cm long giant catfish from Ng Tung River (River Indus) last month, according to Appledaily, and no matter how he cooked it, it was still stinky.

The story was published on Hiroshi Hirasaka’s (google translated from the Japanese’s name 平坂 寛) website Monster Pro Shop. He caught the fish from a drainage ( which is believed to be located at Ng Tung River according to Kwu Tong North Development Concern Group) while he was travelling in Hong Kong. The drainage was very dirty and stenchy, and its colour was like “honeydew cream soda.” But to his amazement, there were a lot of catfishes.

Hirasaka slaughtered the fish at the bathroom of the hostel. Its digestive tract is full of black soil. The kitchen was full of the drainage smell. He has cooked it with different ways, like washed and soaked in milk, water, sake; added ginger; skewer it, deep fried; cooked with curry, but the unpleasant odor was still present. He described the taste like a mixture of hazardous chemical, polluted soil, and detergent.

Hirasaka has spent two days to eat the whole fish.

Number of Smugglers Shops in Shek Wu Hui: 2015/06

Shek Wu Hui Smugglers Shop Report As At June 2015

石湖墟走私店數量報告 2015年6月

In June, North District Parallel Imports Concern Group conducted a research on the numbers of shops that are tailored solely for Chinese Individual Visit Scheme “tourists”. According to the research, in Shek Wu Hui (excluding Landmark North), there are a total of 243 of these shops: 49 of them are pharmacies, 42 Traditional Chinese Medicine and dried seafood shops and 33 money changers. The number of smugglers shops (they stock up products and pay commission to individual smugglers to smuggle goods across the border to China) went up to 57, a 100% increase compare to the Concern Group’s last research. The research finding clearly shows that smuggling activities in Sheung Shui district continues to increase, the complete opposite of the comment “(smuggling activities have) reduced significantly” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying made on 8th September. Sheung Shui is now a heaven to smugglers.

北區水貨客關注組於今年年中統計了上水區內,偏愛中國個人遊旅客的店數量,是次調查發現,單單在上水石湖墟(不包括上水廣場),相關店舖已經多達243間!當中藥房有49間、中藥海味店42間、找換店33間,而專門為走私活動而開的店舖更高達57間。走私專店數量比上一次調查增多超過100%。調查結果反映了上水區內走私活動,並非如特首梁振英在今年9 月8日所講是”明顯減少”,相反地是不斷擴張,上水經已淪為走私者的樂園。

The number of Individual Visit Scheme related shops in Shek Wu Hui between 2013/06 and 2015/06. 2015年6月至2015年6月之間在石湖墟與個人遊計劃有關的商店數目。

The number of Individual Visit Scheme related shops in Shek Wu Hui between 2013/06 and 2015/06.
2015年6月至2015年6月之間在石湖墟與個人遊計劃有關的商店數目。

Introduction 引言

Since the “multi-entry system” for Shenzhen citizens was implemented in August 2012, smuggling activities in Sheung Shui skyrocketed, interrupting the livelihood of the local residents in the district. Although there is a sizeable number of Hong Kong residents participating in this illegal trade, the majority of individuals who take part in smuggling activities are Chinese Individual Visit Scheme “tourists” – based on our regular field research the proportion is approximately 4 Hong Kong residents to 6 Chinese “tourists”. The Concern Group conducted another research in Sheung Shui to reveal the severity of smuggling activities in the area. This research focuses on the number of shops tailored to the smugglers who come to Hong Kong via the Independent Visit Scheme.

自2012年8開始實施深圳戶籍居民「一簽多行」安排以來,上水走私活動急劇增加,已達到廣泛擾亂本地居民生活的地步。涉及走私活動的人士,大多是透過個人遊計劃來港的中國遊客,香港的跨境居民亦有不少,據觀察比例大約6:4(6名中國人:4名香港人)。為了令公眾了解情況有多嚴重,關注組決定再進行調查,統計上水區內業務偏向個人遊旅客的商店數量,包括藥房,化妝品店,珠寶店和找換店等。

Methodology 方法

The research focuses on Shek Wu Hui only, which covers the community between San Fung Avenue, Jockey Club Road and Lung Sum Avenue, excluding Landmark North. The shops included in this research are the ones that benefited significantly from the influx of Independent Visit Scheme visitors. The data is collected by members of the Concern Group who walked through each street and checked each corner of the area. The members recorded all the information of these shops, including their exact location, by hand.

本次調查僅限於石湖墟。就本調查而言,這是由新豐路,馬會道及龍琛路圍成的區域,不包括上水廣場。被計算的商舖僅限於被認為從自由行得到很多好處的業務類型。關注組成員走遍地圖每一個角落,以人手記錄各相關店鋪的地址,從而收集所需的數據。

Result 結果

種類 Type 2013-06 2014-01 2015-06
走私貨專賣店 Smugglers Shop 7 26 57
藥房 Pharmacy 34 43 49
中藥海味 Traditional Chinese Medicine & Dried Seafood Shop 43 45 42
找換店 Money Changer 23 31 33
零食及加工食品 Snacks, Processed Food Store 9 11 18
加工食品批發 Processed Food Wholesaler 10 16 13
金舖 Goldsmith 9 9 12
化妝品 Cosmetic Shop 3 7 7
樓上倉庫 Upper-floor Warehouse 2 4 5
後門倉庫 Backdoor Warehouse 0 4 3
嬰兒 Baby Products Store 2 2 2
酒窖 Cellar 2 3 2
累計 Grand Total 144 201 243

Discussion 討論

The research shows that the number of smugglers shops increase drastically by 119% to 57 shops in just one year. Number of pharmacies saw a 14% increase and reached 49. This could mean that smuggling activities surpassed the purchases of daily necessities in Hong Kong.

調查結果顯示,走私貨專賣店增幅驚人!近一年又增加了119%至57間,同期藥房只增加14%至49間,兩者數量相差16%。此現象是否反映了來港從事走私活動的需求比來港購買日用品的需求高?

The new smugglers shops are mostly located in San Kung Street near Jubilee Plaza, Royal Jubilee, which are operated by people who only speak Mandarin. Goods are always piled up outside of these shops taking up public space and smugglers are always squatting outside the shops packing goods into their luggage. Local residents who walk pass these shops always receive “unfriendly” treatments.

新增的走私貨專門店都集中在新功街/海禧廣場一帶,店員之間不用廣東話溝通。因為店外長期堆積貨物,以及整理貨物的走私客,所以不少本地人路過時都會被不友善對待。

Another key finding is the increase number of money changers. In 2013, there were 23 money changers in the area, but now there are 33 – 10 stores more in just three years. To put the situation in context, there are around 20 banks in Sheung Shui, the number of money changers is almost 50% more than that of banks in the area. Some of these money changers also run a smuggling operation on the side.

另一個現象是找換店出奇地多,由2013年的23間,激增至33間,三年間增加了10間,相對還比銀行多(在上水大約有二十多間銀行),而部分找換店,亦同時兼營走私貨專門店。

Shop rental in Hong Kong went up substantially towards the end of 2014, the number of smugglers shops coincide the trend. This shows that the public’s suspicious of smuggling activities pushing up rental prices has some ground. In recent years, besides the subdivided shops (halving big shops) and the limited number of shops inside Spot (a shopping mall in Lung Sum Avenue), there is no new shop spaces available for rental. This means smugglers shops forced people who would like to set up small businesses to drop their plan, and forced people who cannot afford skyrocketing rents in the area out of business. This also means that there are less and less retailers in the area that service the local residences.

2014年尾香港租金飆升(見下表),走私專門店數量同時也飊升,印證了大眾對走私活動令租金上升的論點。而近幾年,除了大舖被劏細及被劏成前後座、及上水匯提供的少量地舖之外,區內再沒有新地舖供應,這味意著新開的走私專門店是建基於別人結業/失業之上,亦意味著服務區內居民的商戶買少見少。

Date
日期
News Headlines
新聞標題
Source
來源
23/08/2014 元朗上水吉舖潮 租金照加 太陽報
01/09/2014 民調:狂加租消費縮 零售恐爆結業潮 太陽報
22/10/2014 租金半年上升9.3%帶動通脹 文匯報
17/12/2014 香港屋租5年大升七成 同期人工只升兩成半 852郵報
17/12/2014 小店加租四倍 恐釀結業潮 蘋果日報
17/03/2015 差估署最新估值 水客帶動上水舖租升3倍 蘋果日報

Border Shopping Mall 邊境購物城

Besides Sheung Shui, San Tin near Lok Ma Chau Station has been turned into a smugglers playground, and the situation there is worse than that in Sheung Shui. Some parking lots have to use water cannon to disperse smugglers who gather to pack their goods into cases. Some taxi drivers also choose to pick up smugglers only to make more money by not charging according to meter and disregard safety by stuffing extra luggage in the boot. Some landlords who want to take advantage of smuggling activities even propose to build border shopping malls for smugglers in San Tin, Fu Tei Au, Nam Sang Wai and some other locations, which will minimise the cost of the organised smuggling trade. Concern Group strongly opposes the idea of building border shopping malls for several reasons: (a) allocating the precious land in Hong Kong to facilitate organised smuggling activities is not only a misuse of land resources, it also encourages this illegal trade; (b) using Individual Visit Scheme to smuggle does not help Hong Kong’s skills-based economy; (c) border shopping malls will not ease the existing problem as smugglers shops and pharmacies tailored for smugglers will not move to these shopping malls, instead these shopping malls will spread the serious problems caused by smugglers into other parts of Hong Kong; (d) these malls are tailored to Chinese smugglers, by drawing even more Chinese into Hong Kong soil, the border between Hong Kong and China will become even more blurry.

除了上水,落馬洲站附近的新田亦成為了走私者樂園,情況比上水更為嚴重!有停車場更需要設水炮驅趕走私者。有的士司機更為了瓜分走私成果而選擇性接載走私者、不按咪錶收費、及違例載貨。有地主見走私活有利可圖,便紛紛爭取在新田、虎地坳、南生圍等邊境地區興建邊境購物走私城,從而壓低整體走私業的擴張成本。本組織極力反對邊境走私購物城,原因有很多,例如:1. 劃分本港寶貴土地給走私集團從事跨境走私活動不但嚴重浪費土地資源更助長歪風。2. 自由行跨境走私活動是低技術工作,不能幫助香港走向知識型經濟。3. 沒有分流作用,現存的走私專門店及藥房不會自願或被迫遷徙到邊境購物地。4. 有恥笑中國沒法重建產品品質及口碑和慫恿中國人使用洋貨之嫌。5. 服務對象以中國人為主,有模糊香港邊界之嫌。

Conclusion 結論

Even after the number of anti-smugglers protests organised by the public which are dubbed as “Liberation Campaign” or “Restoration Campaign”, the anti-smuggling operations by the Customs Department (triggered directly by these protests), and the tightened visa scheme which limits Shenzhen citizens to enter Hong Kong once a week, smuggling activities continue to flourish. Whether these protests and official actions have successfully reduced the expansion of smuggling activities in Hong Kong, Concern Group has yet to sufficient data to come up with a conclusion. However, as the number of smugglers shops continues to grow, the impact caused by smuggling activities to the local residents’ livelihood and living environment continues to escalate. If the Hong Kong SAR Government insists on ignoring the problem, public discontent will surely grow and more civil actions will take place.

即使經過民間一連串的光復行動,政府一系列的風沙行動,以及深圳戶籍居民赴港個人遊計劃由「一簽多行」改為「一周一行」,水貨走私活動仍然未見有減少跡象。對於這些行動及措施,是否均未能制止走私活動在區內擴張?還是已經成功抑壓擴張速度,或增加走私成本?關注組未有數據推論。無論如何,隨著走私貨專賣店越開越多,對區內人流及生活環境的影響亦越來越嚴重。如特區政府持續漠視不理,只會增加民怨,同時會激發更多光復行動。

Recommendations 建議

“Cancel multiple-entry permit and reduce Chinese Independent Visit Scheme travellers” was the recommendation Concern Group provided in the previous research. This time, our recommends are as follow:

"取消「一簽多行」,以及減少大陸自由行人數"是上一次調查的建議。關注組今次有如下建議:

  1. Cancel “once-a-week” travel permit
    取消「一周一行」。
  2. Customs Department to carry out anti-smuggling operations more frequently
    加密「風沙」或同類行動的次數。
  3. The government to increase law enforcement and impose heavier fines on people who obstruct streets and litter
    對於阻街及亂拋垃圾,政府應加強執法及加大定額罰款。
  4. Impose travel restriction on those who evade fines of littering and obstructing streets until their fines are paid, this means Chinese travellers who do not pay their fines are ban from entering Hong Kong, Hong Kong citizens are banned from leaving Hong Kong and holders of other passports and visas are not allowed to leave or enter Hong Kong until fines are paid.
    面對有欠交罰款的人士,如:中國人應禁止入境,香港人應禁止出境,持其他簽証或護照的人應禁止出境或入境,直到繳付全數罰款為止。
  5. Governments in Hong Kong and China should actively promote smuggling is illegal (smugglers are tax evaders as most products they smuggle from Hong Kong to China are taxed in China’s soil)
    兩地政府有責任向市民宣傳,走私是違法(抵觸中國法制)。
  6. Hong Kong SAR Government has the responsibility to inform the China Government that the current twisted economy (illegal smuggling activities) is directly caused by the poor quality products manufactured in China, demanding China to improve food and product safety
    香港特區政府有責任向中方反映,因中國劣質產品問題而形成的畸形經濟體系,要求中方改善其食品安全管理制度。
  7. Hong Kong SAR Government has the responsibility to inform the China Government the seriously corrupted Custom Department in China escalate the cross border smuggling activities
    香港特區政府有責任向中方反映,中國海關的貪腐問題加速了跨境走私集團的發展。
  8. Citizens of Hong Kong should record (given that it is safe) and report to the police or contact 1823 should they witness individuals participating smuggling activities
    一般市民如目睹水貨走私的擾民行為,亦可主動紀錄(在安全情況下),即時報警或向1823投訴要求處理。
North District Parallel Imports Concern Group
13th September 2015
北區水貨客關注組
2015年9月13日

The logo of North District Parallel Imports Concern Group

North District Parallel Imports Concern Group is responsible for collecting data and writing the report in Chinese. North District Random is responsible for posting the complete report. 北區水貨客關注組負責收集數據及撰寫中文報告。北區隨寫則負責發表全份報告。

Driving Pallet Truck on Footbridge

A pallet truck was found running on a busy footbridge in Sheung Shui.

This footbridge connects Landmark North, Sheung Shui Station, and Choi Yuen Estate.

There is a Maxim bakery is selling mooncakes at the station.

This model of pallet truck can run up to 6 km /h, and its battery has 24 V, according to the manufacturers’ datasheet.

Netizens commented that it is illegal to run a motor vehicle on a footbridge.

Government Insists $47M PLUMBING Project Despite Owners’ Objection

Flat owners of Cheung Wah Estate in Fanling failed to cancel a $47 million plumbing project because Housing Authority has rejected the proposal, according to a community organization “North of the Rings”.

The owner’s corporation of Cheung Wah Estate has held a meeting tonight to decide a motion on whether to cancel the plumbing project. Even though many owners are strongly against the project because of its high cost and have voted YES to the motion, the Housing Authority still insists by casting NO. According to North of the Rings, because Housing Authority has the largest shares of ownership in the estate, it has sufficient votes to reject the motion.

The voting result is: 35.68% (56141) yes, and 64.32% (101215) no.

The plumbing project will be suspended.

Cheung Wah Estate is under the tenants purchase scheme. It means tenants were given a chance to purchase the flats they live in low price.

Source:

Video:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2265517737/permalink/10154186565537738/

TPB Member’s Asphalt Plant Near Poultry Slaughter Approved in Sheung Shui

K. Wah Construction Materials Limited, with its director also a member of the Town Planning Board, was able to get approval from Town Planning Board last year to construct an asphalt plant near the future poultry slaughtering and processing plant in Sheung Shui by changing its the plan from permanent to temporary.

The proposed Asphalt Plant is so close to the land reserved for the poultry plant.

The proposed Asphalt Plant is so close to the land reserved for the poultry plant.

According to Bloomberg, Mr. Yiu Tung Lui is a director of K. Wah Construction Materials Limited since 1987. He is a member of the Town Planning Board, and a Member of Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conferene.

The company submitted the first application in 2013, proposed to build a permanent asphalt plant on an open storage area 200 metres away from a small village Hung Kiu San Tsuen (紅橋新村) at Fu Tei Au in 2013. The plant will operate 24/7 producing at most 160 ton of asphalt every hour. The plan was strongly objected by FEHD, Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Deparment, and Planning Department because: 1) It is 20 metres to the north of the land reserved for the poultry slaughtering and processing plant which will be operated in 2021. The asphalt plant may release hazardous fumes that can affect livestock. The risk of food contamination should be avoided; 2) No similar application has been approved on open storage area. It would set up a bad example. 3) The nature and the scale of the asphalt plant is completely incongruous with the poultry plant. But half year later, the company submitted the application again, with the asphalt plant changed from permanent to temporary for 5 years. There was no more objections from the government departments this time. The Town Planning Board has passed the application. The plant is expected to be running in the first quarter of next year.

Hong Kong Live Poultry Wholesalers Association chairman Tsui Ming-Tuen concerns about the possible contamination.  “They said it was not safe. Now it is safe. Are they neglecting the lives of Hong Kongers? There is lead water. They want asphalt chicken?” He questioned that the asphalt plant should not just operate for 5 years given the amount of investment involved. He emphasizes that he does not plan to to move to the new place.

How many more members of Town Planning Board are also company directors?

Company director is also a Town Planning Board member

Company director is also a Town Planning Board member

Hung Kiu San Tsuen is a small village to the north of Sheug Shui. A Tin Hau temple has been found there since 1721, the 60th year of Kangxi of Qing dynasty. [Source: Openlife, wiki]

Sources: