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Hong Kong Shuts Smuggling Scheme

November 8, 1998

HONG KONG (AP) _ The government said Sunday it had smashed an international syndicate that was smuggling Chinese citizens to Canada via Japan.

Anti-corruption officials said they had arrested two Taiwanese, three mainland Chinese and three Hong Kong Chinese.

The territory’s Independent Commission Against Corruption said the syndicate operated in Hong Kong with the assistance of corrupt airline employees who switched boarding passes to help the smuggled people on their journeys.

It said the syndicate, which also forged passports, was believed to be charging $26,000 per person.

In May, Hong Kong police smashed a syndicate that smuggled people from mainland China to Japan, providing a complete package of travel documents, plane tickets, escorts and assistance in Japan, including safe houses, police said.

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