Hong Kong Customs detects largest-ever liquid cocaine case with market value reaching $490 million (with photos)

15 Jan 2024

​Hong Kong Customs seized about 444 kilograms of suspected liquid cocaine with an estimated market value of about $490 million at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on December 19 last year, representing a record seizure of liquid cocaine by Customs. Two men suspected to be connected with the case were arrested.

Acting on intelligence analysis, Customs officers on that day selected a 20-foot seaborne container, declared as carrying wine and grape juice, and arriving in Hong Kong from Brazil, for inspection. Upon examination, 148 packages of suspected liquid cocaine packed in transparent plastic bags were found inside 37 out of 706 carton boxes of wine. The total weight was about 444kg.

Upon a follow-up investigation, Customs officers conducted controlled delivery operations, and arrested a 38-year-old man who claimed to be unemployed and a 50-year-old man who claimed to be a transportation company owner, on January 13 and 14 respectively.

An investigation is ongoing and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.

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

Ends/Monday, January 15, 2024

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