Customs steps up interception of dangerous drugs at control points

20 Dec 2006

Hong Kong Customs officers in the past two weeks (December 3 to 18) cracked three dangerous drugs cases at the Hong Kong International Airport involving cannabis buds, ketamine and cannabis resin trafficked into Hong Kong by means of air parcels or passengers.

The Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, Mr Ben Leung, today (December 20) said, "The success in intercepting the dangerous drugs demonstrates that Hong Kong Customs officers have stepped up surveillance and inspection at all control points in light of the upcoming festive seasons.

"We believe law-breakers might attempt to take advantage of the busy inflows and outflows of passengers and cargoes to traffick in dangerous drugs. However, Hong Kong Customs will continue to work closely with its overseas and Mainland counterparts on intelligence exchange to deter transnational drug-trafficking activities," he said.

On December 18, Customs officers seized 0.75 kilogram of cannabis resin, with retail value of about $60,000, hidden in the hollowed-out shoe soles of a 25-year-old Indian man.

In a separate development on the same day, the officers found a total of 9.5 kilograms of ketamine, worth about $1.4 million in the market, inside two plastic boxes in an express parcel sent from India. Their follow-up investigation led to the arrest of a 33-year-old Indian man at a guesthouse in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Between December 3 and 8, Customs officers seized from 95 postal parcels a haul of about 1.6 kilograms of cannabis buds, which could fetch $480,000 if sold in the market. The concerned postal parcels were from Canada. So far, no person claims the parcels.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, drug trafficking is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.

Ends/Wednesday, December 20, 2006

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