Customs officers and police have arrested three mainland men who were allegedly trying to smuggle HK$25 million worth of high-value electronic goods, such as mobile phones and computer components, on board a river trade vessel.

Officers said the boat was intercepted in the waters west of Hong Kong on Wednesday after more than two months of investigation into the area’s smuggling activities.

The goods, stuffed in 65 boxes, were concealed in a hidden compartment below the deck, with the entrance under a crew bed.

Jonathan Leung, commander of customs’ marine investigation division, said in the past, smugglers had transported high-value electronic goods at night and by speedboat.

“But as police and customs have stepped up our crackdown on smuggling, we can see the smugglers changed their pattern this time by using a river trade vessel,” he said.

Authorities said it was the biggest seizure they had made at sea in two years.