HK residents held in Shenzhen drug busts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 12:00am

Hong Kong residents have been arrested in two drug-smuggling cases in Shenzhen, narcotic authorities reported yesterday.

In one case a Hong Kong man, identified only as Yip, was seized at a hotel in Huanggang while allegedly completing a drug deal with a mainland man.

Another Hong Kong man - who also holds a Dutch passport - was arrested with five other men and a woman in an operation in which 83,000 Ecstasy tablets and 1.2 million yuan were seized, police said.

Police said they had been tipped off last December that a drug ring led by Yip was selling Ecstasy to major entertainment venues in Shenzhen and smuggling it to Hong Kong.

After a three-month investigation, they established that the ring was long-established and commanded about a third of Hong Kong's Ecstasy market.

Tipped off that two major drug deals were about to take place, they began 24-hour surveillance on their suspects in the two cases.

After arresting Yip and his mainland contact three days later, they went to several locations to arrest the other suspects.

Giving details of the second case yesterday, the Shenzhen police said a large shipment of chemicals that could be used to make Ecstasy had been seized in the Netherlands in two containers on a ship from Shenzhen last July.

It was found that a 38-year-old Hong Kong man, identified as Tang, was responsible for the containers' contents, including 3,037kg of drug-making chemicals disguised as soy sauce. He was arrested on October 30.

Police said Tang had admitted his part in the Dutch drug-smuggling case and revealed that he had hidden another shipment of drugs in Shenzhen for smuggling to Europe.

Police found 3.9 tonnes of drug-making chemicals - the biggest such seizure in recent years - in a warehouse in the city.