Customs steps up actions against drug smuggling activities at control points (with photos)

21 Dec 2007

Hong Kong Customs has stepped up enforcement to clamp down on cross-boundary drug trafficking at all control points during the festive seasons.

Customs officers at all cross-boundary control points will remain vigilant to foil attempts of drugs traffickers who may take advantage of the busy passenger and cargo flows at control points during the coming Christmas and New Year holidays.

The department will also continue to maintain close contacts with both local and overseas enforcement agencies to strengthen intelligence exchange to deter cross-boundary drug-trafficking.

During the period from January to November this year, Customs officers at the land boundary control points arrested 97 persons involved in drug cases. Of the arrested, there is a rise in the number who are under 21.

Up to December 19 this year, 26 persons arrested involving in drug cases were under 21. The seized drugs included Ketamine, Erimin-5 and Ecstasy (MDMA), worth $890,000.

In 2006, 10 drugs offenders arrested were of this age group and the seizure value was $120,000.

It is believed that most arrestees of this age group smuggled drugs for self-consumption.

Speaking at a press conference today (December 21), the Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, Mr Ben Leung, appealed to the young people not to smuggle drugs, as drug trafficking is a serious offence. They will face serious consequence once convicted.

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

Mr Leung noted that the department will continue its stringent enforcement against cross-boundary drug trafficking.

To strengthen the enforcement, the department not only makes use of the advanced technology, such as the ion scanner and the X-ray checker, but also deploys drug detector dogs.

Also present at the press conference, the Deputy Head of Land Boundary Command, Mr Chow Chi-kwong, said that the Customs drug detector dogs play an important role in combating cross-boundary drug trafficking, enhancing the enforcement effectiveness.

Up to mid-December this year, the Customs drug detector dogs have cracked 29 cases and seized drugs worth $124 million.

Ends/Friday, December 21, 2007

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