The Macao Customs Service said in a statement on Saturday that it held a meeting the previous day at its headquarters with representatives from the Public Security Police (PSP) and the Association of [mainland] Chinese Capital Employment Agencies (Macau) to discuss the issue of non-resident workers getting involved in parallel trading activities.
According to the statement, the two law enforcement entities hope that the employment agencies will strengthen their anti-crime education and set up a liaison mechanism with non-resident workers.
According to the statement, since Guangdong and Macao eased their travel curbs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic last month, the flow of people near the Barrier Gate checkpoint has increased significantly, and parallel trading activities have also shown an upward trend.
The Customs Service and PSP officers’ joint operations have shown that a rising number of non-resident workers are engaged in parallel trading. In order to strengthen communication and coordination with the employment agencies, representatives from the three sides held a meeting on Friday to discuss and exchange ideas on the issue.
The statement pointed out that in the first eight months more than 3,000 cases of parallel trading were discovered, and about one-third of the cases involved non-resident workers. In the joint operations, six large-scale parallel trading shops were busted and goods such as cigarettes, alcohol, seafood, beauty products and electronic products worth more than MOP 13 million (US$1.63 million) were seized. A total of 44 suspects including several non-resident workers were taken in for questioning.
The statement underlined that if non-resident workers violate relevant laws and regulations concerning Macao’s external trade, they could be fined up to MOP 50,000, while multiple violations could affect their permits to stay and work in Macao, according to the statement.
Parallel trading refers to trade in products which takes place outside the official distribution system set up by a particular firm and in breach of official customs and external trade regulations.