2kg of cocaine hidden in children's books

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2008, 12:00am

Inspections have been stepped up at the airport's cargo terminal after 2kg of cocaine was found concealed in parcels of children's books.

The four parcels and their haul, with a street value of HK$1.6 million, were posted in California. The most recent package arrived in Hong Kong by express mail on Friday.

Superintendent Frankie Cheung Yun-ping, head of the customs drug investigation group, said the drugs, in plastic bags, were wrapped with aluminium foil in an effort to avoid X-ray detection, then stuffed into the hollowed-out books. 'They were then wrapped in wrapping paper and tied with ribbons,' he said.

He said he believed the cocaine was intended for local consumption.

'After the seizure, we have increased the exchange of intelligence with the US authorities in order to stop the trade and find out the sources of the drug,' Mr Cheung said.

Customs officers at the air cargo terminal have also increased inspections, he added.

The latest package contained 530 grams of cocaine, with a retail value of HK$400,000, hidden in the hollow centres of two children's books.

Mr Cheung said the parcel was addressed to a New Territories residence that did not exist.

The investigation is continuing and no arrest has been made.

Customs officers seized another 1.5kg of cocaine worth about HK$1.2 million and arrested two people in three other cases in June and last month.