Hong Kong Customs seized about 70 kilograms of suspected cannabis buds with an estimated market value of about $12 million at Hong Kong International Airport on January 17. This is the largest cannabis trafficking case detected by Customs at Hong Kong International Airport in the past decade.
Customs officers inspected an air consignment, with several cartons of goods declared as loudspeakers, arriving in Hong Kong from Canada on that day. The batch of suspected cannabis buds was found concealed inside 32 speakers and wrapped with tinfoil and vacuum bags, in an attempt to evade law enforcement officers' detection.
After follow-up investigation, Customs officers on the same day arrested a 50-year-old man suspected to be involved in the case.
Investigation is ongoing. The arrested man has been released on bail pending further investigation.
Hong Kong Customs strives to combat dangerous drugs trafficking and takes rigorous enforcement action in accordance with Hong Kong's laws. The recreational use of cannabis has been legalised in individual overseas jurisdictions where products containing cannabis or controlled cannabinoids (such as tetrahydro-cannabinol, or THC) in the form of food, drinks and topical products for applying to skin, hair or nails, as well as cannabis extracts, may be available for sale. Customs reminds the public that cannabis and THC are controlled dangerous drugs in Hong Kong. It is a criminal offence to bring such products into Hong Kong.
Cannabis and THC (a major cannabinoid present in cannabis plants) are dangerous drugs controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134). Any products that contain cannabis or THC are also controlled under Cap. 134.
With the Lunar New Year holiday approaching, members of the public should pay attention to the packaging labels of the products concerned to check whether they contain cannabis while making purchases in foreign places during travel. The public should also be aware of the relevant domestic legislation in relation to cannabis, so as to avoid breaching the law inadvertently.
Under Cap. 134, trafficking in dangerous drugs, or illicitly importing to and exporting from Hong Kong, procuring, supplying, manufacturing or dealing in or with dangerous drugs, constitutes a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million. Illicitly possessing or smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting dangerous drugs is subject to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for seven years and a fine of $1 million.
Customs has all along been closely monitoring the trends concerning dangerous drugs in other places and implements appropriate strategies. Stringent law enforcement is imposed on passenger and cargo clearance, including air postal packets and express cargo, to effectively combat drug trafficking activities and interdict the flow of dangerous drugs into Hong Kong.
Members of the public may report any suspected illicit drug-related activities through Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Thursday, January 23, 2020