Hong Kong Customs is sparing no effort to combat dangerous drug activities between Hong Kong and Macao and a total of 65 cross-boundary drug trafficking cases were detected last year through intelligence exchanges and joint operations. Various types of dangerous drugs with a total weight of 5.6 kilograms were seized and 68 persons were arrested.
The cases happened at Hong Kong International Airport, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port, the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal and the China Ferry Terminal. Of the 65 cases detected, 56 were outbound cases and the rest were inbound ones.
The arrested persons comprise 60 men and eight women aged between 15 and 61. Of them, seven were under 18.
The drugs seized included 3.7kg of cocaine, 1.4kg of heroin, 147 grams of ketamine, 206g of methamphetamine, 92g of cannabis and 115 tablets of ecstasy. The drugs seized carried a market value of around $5.5 million in total.
The traffickers attempted to transport the drugs in various ways. Apart from hiding drugs in apparel and backpacks, some also used suitcases and food containers. Small amounts of suspected drugs were involved in most cases. In one case, one pack of suspected cocaine with a weight of 1.9kg was found inside the false compartment of a luggage case of a traveller at the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal.
Compared with the 2018 figures, 30 more trafficking cases across the two places were detected in 2019, representing an increase of about 85.7 per cent. In terms of the number of arrests, 31 more were made, making for an increase of about 83.8 per cent. There was also a 49.8 per cent jump in terms of the seizure quantity.
An upward trend was seen in the cross-boundary drug trafficking cases across the two places. Hong Kong Customs will continue its risk profiling and intelligence analysis strategy, as well as step up intelligence exchanges and joint operations with its Macao counterpart in order to intercept drugs in both inbound and outbound channels.
The Lunar New Year is just around the corner and the department has stepped up its deployment at all control points to hit drug activities before and during the festive period.
Members of the public are once again reminded that criminals may post recruitment advertisements on unknown websites and social media platforms to lure citizens into carrying dangerous drugs or various controlled items. They should stay alert and not carry unknown items for other people.
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 (email@example.com).
Ends/Monday, January 20, 2020