Two men held after customs seize 6kg of ketamine

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2005, 12:00am

Updated at 6.15pm:
Customs officers on Thursday seized six kilograms of ketamine from two incoming passengers at Hong Kong International Airport, a spokesman said on Friday.

Three bags of ketamine, each weighing 1kg, were discovered in suitcases with false compartments belonging to two Malaysian men from Kuala Lumpur. The spokesman said the men, aged 27 and 41, were arrested. The drugs are worth $1 million.

?They would appear in Eastern Magistrates? Court on Saturday charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug?, the spokesman said.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life in jail and a fine of $5 million.

Police are concerned that the demand for drugs like ketamine has increased considerably in Hong Kong in recent years. It is now a popular drug with young people at ?rave? parties and other social gatherings in the territory.

Ketamine (or ketamine hydrochloride) is a non-barbiturate, fast-acting drug, which has been used on animals and people. It has been prescribed for paediatric burns cases and dentistry and also used in experimental psychotherapy.

It often produces a dissociative state in a user. Effects can range from rapture to paranoia and feelings of ennui.

Health experts say ketamine can often induce out-of-body or near-death experiences, and warn that it can also make users comatose.