Customs cracks first ketamine case at airport

4 Feb 2005

Customs officers of Airport Command and Customs Drug Investigation Bureau on February 2 cracked the first ever case in which passengers at the airport were found trafficking in ketamine.

Customs officers seized 5.12 kg of suspected ketamine worth $1.8 million in two cases during an anti-narcotic operation codenamed "Operation Bayonet".

Two Malaysian men, aged 26 and 39, were arrested. They will be charged with trafficking of dangerous drugs and appear in Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Courts this afternoon (February 4).

On February 2, Customs officer spotted two suspicious-looking men, who had arrived in Hong Kong from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and intercepted them.

As a result of the search, 3.12 kg of ketamine was seized from the concealed compartment of a luggage, and another three bags of ketamine weighing 2 kg were packed in three boxes bearing food products labels.

HK Customs will liaise with its overseas and Mainland counterparts regarding the case in a bid to track down the mastermind.

Intelligence had showed that in light of the anticipated increase in demand of drugs during Lunar New Year, dangerous drugs would be smuggled into HK from Southeast Asia to take advantage of the heavy passenger flow during holidays.

Hence, an anti-narcotic operation codenamed "Operation Bayonet" has been mounted since early this month.

A spokesman for Customs and Excise Department said today (February 4) that in view of the up-coming Lunar New Year, the Department would step up anti-narcotic measures at all control points to crack down on drugs-trafficking activities.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, drug trafficking is a serious offence with maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.

Ends/Friday, February 4, 2005

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