Sydney-bound 'tourists' arrested over drug Ice

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 April, 2011, 12:00am


Police have swooped on a suspected drug trafficking gang who tried to use the cover of an organised tour group to smuggle HK$5 million of the party drug Ice from Hong Kong to Sydney.

Five people were arrested at Chek Lap Kok airport yesterday and the methamphetamine was seized from secret compartments inside luggage.

Police said two of the detainees, a 29-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman, were members of a Wing On Travel tour group that was to board a Qantas flight as part of an Australian package lasting more than six days.

The pair were stopped by officers near one of the immigration gates at about 7.30am. Officers later discovered 6.4kg of suspected Ice in two pieces of luggage checked in by the pair. Two men and a woman, aged 42, 26 and 40, were stopped at the Airport Express station at the airport. Officers seized a bottle of spray from those at the station believed to be meant to confuse sniffer dogs.

The pair were arrested for drug trafficking, while all were arrested for conspiracy to traffic in dangerous drugs. All were being held last night. Twelve cellphones were also seized.

A Wing On spokeswoman said the group was unaffected by the police operation and had started their holiday. She said the travel agency made a point of reminding customers to be careful with their luggage.

Seizures of drugs from tour group members are not uncommon. In February 2009, police arrested a 56-year-old man on a tour to Japan with 2kg of Ice worth HK$1.34 million in his luggage.

In December that year, customs arrested a 55-year-old man on a Wing On tour to Sydney with 1.5kg of Ice attached to his legs.

Tour operation

The police action at the airport uncovered 6.4kg of suspected Ice worth, in HK dollars,: $5m