HK Customs smashes transnational cocaine trafficking syndicate

16 Aug 2006

Hong Kong Customs, law enforcement agency of Thailand and Drug Enforcement Administration of the US yesterday (August 15) smashed a transnational cocaine trafficking syndicate.

They seized about 1 kg cocaine in Hong Kong and 6 kg cocaine in Thailand. The seizure was about HK$5.1 million in the market.

The haul was resulted from an operation codenamed ??男e-advance? conducted by Hong Kong Customs Drug Investigation Bureau and Drug Enforcement Administration of the US, to combat trafficking of cocaine into Hong Kong.

At 2.30pm yesterday (August 15), Hong Kong Customs arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport a 33-year-old Peruvian man, who was found to have internal concealment of 1 kg cocaine, worth about $0.72 million.

The man, suspected to be a syndicate member, arrived from South America via Johannesburg and Kuala Lumpur. He will be charged with ?憳靠fficking in a dangerous drug?and will appear in Tsuen Wan Magistrates?Courts tomorrow (August 17).

The law enforcement agency of Thailand yesterday also arrested in Bangkok six Peruvian drugs traffickers, suspected to be members of the same syndicate. They were found to have concealed internally a total of 6 kg cocaine, worth about $4.38 million.

"Transnational drug trafficking activities have become more sophisticated, transcending geographical boundaries. This case has demonstrated the effectiveness of international cooperation in stamping out such cross-boundary crimes," Head of Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, Mr Ben Leung said today.

"Hong Kong Customs has been maintaining close ties with its counterparts in combating drugs trafficking, including intelligence exchange and parallel operations," he added.

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

Ends/Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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