Hong Kong Customs seizes dangerous drugs worth about $24 million in anti-narcotics operation (with photos)

17 Aug 2023

Hong Kong Customs conducted an anti-narcotics operation codenamed "Sniper" between June 12 and August 11 to combat drug trafficking through consolidated consignment.

With the upward trend of drugs being smuggled through consolidated consignment, Customs, through risk assessment, conducted strikes and searches at local consolidator companies and examined suspicious parcels. In the operation, Customs detected 23 cases of drug trafficking and about 68 kilograms of suspected dangerous drugs were seized, including about 35kg of suspected cannabis-type dangerous drugs, about 22kg of suspected ketamine and about 11kg of suspected methamphetamine. The total estimated market value of the seizures was about $24 million. Two men suspected to be connected with the cases were arrested.

In one of the cases, Customs officers arrested a 17-year-old youth in Ho Man Tin while he collected two parcels containing a batch of snacks, in which about 7kg of suspected cannabis buds were concealed inside. In another case, Customs officers arrested a 64-year-old man in Tai Po while he collected a parcel containing a batch of gift boxes, in which about 5kg of suspected ketamine was concealed inside the false compartment of the boxes.

Investigations of the cases are ongoing and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out. The two arrestees were released on bail pending further investigation.

The parcels seized during this operation were mainly originated from Europe and America and delivered to Hong Kong through consolidated consignment. Drug syndicates made use of daily products including air purifiers, pet climbing frames, shampoo bottles, interlinings of packing materials and industrial tools to conceal the drugs or mix them into the clothing items and snacks in order to evade customs inspection and increase the difficulty of customs detection.

Customs will continue to step up enforcement against drug trafficking activities through intelligence analysis. The department also reminds members of the public to stay alert and not to participate in drug trafficking activities for monetary return. They must not accept hiring or delegation from another party to carry controlled items into and out of Hong Kong. They are also reminded not to carry unknown items for other people, nor to release their personal data or home address to others for receiving parcels or goods.

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.

Young people should especially pay attention to the fact that drug trafficking is a serious criminal offence. Criminal conviction will result in grave repercussions for their future and they should not take risks in the hope that they may not be caught.

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/).

 Ends/Thursday, August 17, 2023

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