Hong Kong Customs detects two incoming passenger drug trafficking cases at airport (with photos)

10 Sep 2023

Hong Kong Customs detected two drug trafficking cases involving baggage concealment yesterday (September 9) and today (September 10) at Hong Kong International Airport. About 1.5 kilograms of suspected cocaine and 5.3 kilograms of suspected cannabis buds were seized with an estimated market value of about $2.5 million in total.

The first case involved a 53-year-old male passenger who arrived in Hong Kong yesterday from Freetown, Sierra Leone via Istanbul, Türkiye. During customs clearance, Customs officers found the batch of suspected cocaine concealed in false compartments in five pieces of clothing, one handbag and one computer bag inside his checked-in luggage. The man was subsequently arrested.

The second case involved a 23-year-old male passenger who arrived in Hong Kong today from Chiang Mai, Thailand. During customs clearance, a total of 22 packs of suspected cannabis buds were found concealed in 18 food packaging items in his checked-in luggage. The man was subsequently arrested.

The arrested man of the first case will be charged with one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug. He will appear at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (September 11). For the second case, an investigation is ongoing.

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.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are classified as dangerous drugs. Importation of products (including food or drinks) containing cannabis, THC or CBD into Hong Kong is prohibited unless the relevant provisions in the Ordinance are complied with. In order to avoid breaching the law inadvertently, special attention should be paid to the packaging labels of those products.

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) or online form (eform.cefs.gov.hk/form/ced002/).

Ends/Sunday, September 10, 2023

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