First case of incoming passenger imprisoned for being in possession of cannabidiol (CBD) (with photos)

7 Jul 2023

‚ÄčAn incoming passenger was sentenced to a total of two months' imprisonment today (July 7) at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts for the conviction of two counts of possession of a dangerous drug and one count of possession of pipe fit and intended for the injection of a dangerous drug, in contravention of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Ordinance).

A 32-year-old incoming female passenger arrived in Hong Kong from the United States on March 29. During customs clearance, two bottles of personal care products containing the active ingredient of suspected cannabidiol (CBD) were found in her luggage. At the same time, Customs officers further seized about 2.2 grams of suspected ketamine concealed in a glass container, and 10 syringes suspected of being intended for injection of a dangerous drug. The woman was subsequently arrested. The Government Laboratory later confirmed a total of about 5g of CBD were present in the two bottles of personal care products, while the other drugs seized were ketamine.

Customs welcomes the sentence. This is the first time that an offender has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment since CBD was listed as a dangerous drug under the Ordinance on February 1 this year. The custodial sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence and serves as a clear warning to the general public.

Under the Ordinance, possession of a dangerous drug is a serious offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for seven years. Meanwhile, any person who possesses any pipe, equipment or apparatus fit and intended for the smoking, inhalation, ingestion or injection of a dangerous drug commits a criminal offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for three years.

Following the resumption of normal travel and exchanges with the Mainland and other parts of the world, the number of visitors to Hong Kong has also been increasing steadily. 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. Customs reminds members of the public not to carry controlled items into and out of Hong Kong.

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) or online form (eform.cefs.gov.hk/form/ced002/). All information received by Customs will be kept strictly confidential.

Ends/Friday, July 7, 2023

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