Hong Kong Customs detects large-scale drug-trafficking case by sea and seizes suspected cocaine worth about $260 million (with photos)

19 Jan 2023

Hong Kong Customs seized about 300 kilograms of suspected cocaine with an estimated market value of about $260 million at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on December 22 last year. Three men suspected to be connected with the case were arrested.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers on that day selected a seaborne container, declared as carrying 1 800 carton boxes of frozen chicken feet, arriving in Hong Kong from Brazil for inspection. Upon examination, 300 slabs of suspected cocaine, each weighing about 1kg, were found concealed inside 30 carton boxes of frozen chicken feet. A 67-year-old male truck driver suspected to be connected with the case was arrested at the scene. He was released after subsequent investigation.

Upon follow-up investigation, Customs officers yesterday (January 18) arrested a 72-year-old man in charge of a receiving company in Tsing Yi. On the same day, a 38-year-old man who claimed to be a private driver and is suspected to be connected with the case was arrested in Kowloon City.

After investigations, the two arrested men had been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs urges importers and exporters of cargo, and operators of warehouse rentals as well as goods storage companies, to stay vigilant and not to fall prey to criminals. If they receive enquiries about cargo of unknown sources, identify goods that are unattended exceeding a reasonable time, or lose contact with storage tenants after they picked up a small quantity of goods, they may contact Customs.

Risk assessment has all along been an effective strategy adopted by Customs to intercept the import and transit movements of dangerous drugs in various channels. The department will continue to step up anti-narcotic efforts by risk assessment and intelligence analysis with international co-operation.

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/Thursday, January 19, 2023
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