Customs seizes $11.8 million worth of ketamine

12 May 2005

In a joint operation code-named "Bayonet", officers of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, Control Points Command and Intelligence Bureau seized 50 kg of high-graded ketamine with estimated retail value of $11.8 million from an outgoing container truck at Lok Ma Chau Control Point yesterday (May 11).

This is another successful case effected by Hong Kong Customs, following a record seizure of 87.5 kg of high-graded ketamine at the airport in March this year.

Officers of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau identified a suspicious outgoing container truck yesterday morning and notified Lok Ma Chau Control Point when it was about to depart from Hong Kong for the Mainland.

Upon search, 50 kg of high-graded ketamine was found inside the driving compartment.

A 44-year-old man was arrested. He has been charged with "trafficking in a dangerous drug" and will be brought to Fanling Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (May 13) for mention.

"Our intelligence shows that there is a growing trend of smuggling ketamine from Southeast Asia into Hong Kong and the Mainland. Comparing with the seizure of 4.8kg of ketamine in 2004, Hong Kong Customs has already seized 148.8 kg of ketamine up till now in 2005," Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, Mr Ben Leung, said during the press conference today (May 12).

"Hong Kong Customs will continue taking stringent enforcement actions to combat drugs trafficking, and maintaining close liaison with the Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies on intelligence exchange," he added.

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

Ends/Thursday, May 12, 2005

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