Hong Kong Customs detects largest airborne cocaine trafficking case in past two decades (with photos)

30 Jun 2021

Hong Kong Customs on June 22 selected for inspection an air cargo consignment arriving in Hong Kong from Brazil at Hong Kong International Airport and later seized about 110 kilograms of suspected cocaine with an estimated market value of about $130 million inside two large-scale hydraulic devices. This is the largest airborne cocaine trafficking case detected by Customs in the past two decades in terms of the amount of suspected cocaine seized.

Through risk assessment and data analysis, Customs officers first selected an air cargo consignment arriving in Hong Kong from Brazil for inspection. During preliminary inspection, the officers suspected that dangerous drugs were concealed inside two large-scale hydraulic devices.

Customs then dismantled the parts of the two hydraulic devices with assistance from officers of the Fire Services Department and found a batch of suspected cocaine wrapped with plastic materials in each of the two devices. The total weight was about 110kg.

Upon follow-up investigation, Customs officers arrested two men, aged 50 and 51, suspected to be connected with the case on June 26.

Investigation is ongoing. The two arrested men have been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs reiterates that the multifarious modus operandi and increasingly sophisticated concealment methods adopted by drug trafficking syndicates will not hinder the department in detecting cases. Customs will continue to make use of risk assessment, intelligence analysis, and co-operation with other government departments and overseas law enforcement agencies to combat transnational drug trafficking activities.

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

Members of the public may report any suspected drug trafficking activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Wednesday, June 30, 2021

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