- Four suspects, including 72-year-old man, picked up at Hong Kong International Airport with drugs hidden in their suitcases
- Fifth suspect caught with HK$19 million worth of cocaine in luggage at a private residential estate in Sha Tin
Five suspected drug traffickers were arrested and HK$35.7 million (US$4.6 million) worth of illegal drugs seized in four separate cases in two days, Hong Kong law enforcers said on Tuesday.
Four of the suspects were picked up at Hong Kong International Airport with 25.5kg of crystal meth, ketamine and cocaine hidden in their suitcases when they arrived from Paris, Greece and Thailand.
The fifth suspect was caught with the seizure of HK$19 million worth of cocaine hidden in luggage at a private residential estate in Sha Tin.
The latest bust took place at the airport on Monday night when police stopped a 23-year-old man for inspection in a joint anti-narcotics operation with customs officers. The Hongkonger returned to the city from Bangkok.
Senior Inspector Yuen Ho-ting of the Narcotics Bureau said 26 packages containing 3.4kg of suspected crystal meth, also known as Ice, were found hidden in a false compartment of his suitcase. The haul has an estimated street value of HK$1.7 million.
He said police were investigating where the drugs came from and whether the haul was for local consumption, adding that further arrests were possible.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the man, who is unemployed, was being held for questioning and had not been charged.
Hong Kong's 60kg haul of drugs hidden in children's play mats, sports shoes
Three other suspected drug traffickers were also picked up at the airport in two separate cases on Sunday. Customs officers seized HK$15 million worth of illegal drugs in their suitcases.
Two of them " a man, 27, and a woman, 22 " arrived from Paris on the same flight and were intercepted during customs clearance. A total of 16.3kg of suspected ketamine was found in their suitcases.
The pair were jointly charged with one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug. They will appear in Eastern Court on Wednesday.
Later on the same day, a 72-year-old man, who arrived from Athens via Doha was arrested for drug trafficking after 5.8kg of suspected cocaine was found in his luggage.
"Customs will continue to apply a risk assessment approach and focus on selecting passengers from high-risk regions for clearance to combat transnational drug trafficking activities," the Customs and Excise Department said in a statement.
On Sunday night, officers from customs' drug investigation bureau picked up the fifth suspected drug trafficker " a 23-year-old man " in Sha Tin and seized 18kg of suspected cocaine in a suitcase he was carrying at the time. The haul had an estimated street value of HK$19 million.
The Hongkonger, a construction worker, was charged with drug trafficking. He will appear in Eastern Court on Wednesday.
In Hong Kong, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.
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