Customs seizes 3.1 kg ketamine and arrests a courier

9 Jun 2005

Customs officers of the Airport Command yesterday (June 8) seized from two pieces of baggage in transit 35 packs of ketamine weighing 3.1 kilograms and with an estimated local retail value of $730,000.

During ion-scan check, Customs officers of the Airport Command spotted two suspicious pieces of Macau-bound baggage from Kuala Lumpur.

A male passenger from Taiwan who was in transit was subsequently located by Customs officers for further investigation prior to his boarding a coach to SkyPier for an onward trip to Macau. He was later arrested after 35 packs of ketamine were found inside the two pieces of baggage.

Of the seizures, five packs were wrapped by tinfoil and respectively placed inside five paper boxes branded as ginseng teabags, cookies and chocolate biscuits. For the remaining 30 packs, all were disguised as instant coffee bags.

The arrested person, aged 37, will be charged with "trafficking in a dangerous drug" and will appear in Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (June 10) for mention.

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

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (June 9), "This is the seventh ketamine smuggling case cracked by Customs officers of the Airport Command in the past two weeks as a result of a series of operations. It is the first time that Customs officers discovered a passenger exploiting the route from air to sea to smuggle ketamine."

"Rigorous enforcement taken by the Mainland authority to suppress ketamine has led to a shortage in supply and a surge in demand, and the drugs seized are believed to be destined for the Mainland market," He explained, "Hong Kong Customs will keep a close watch on the development and continue to enhance co-operation and intelligence exchange with various law enforcement agencies with a view to containing transnational drug trafficking activities."

Ends/Thursday, June 9, 2005

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