Cocaine bust smashes two drug rings
Police smashed two drug trafficking syndicates following the arrest of two men and the seizure of 147 kilograms of cocaine yesterday.
The haul, which police said had a street value of around HK$153 million, was the largest drug seizure so far this year.
Chief Superintendent John Ribeiro, head of the Narcotics Bureau, said the arrests were the result of a month-long investigation.
Acting on information, bureau officers conducted thorough investigations and intercepted two men, aged 29 and 53, in Ma On Shan, Sha Tin, at around 3pm yesterday.
The two men were searched and were found to be carrying one kilogram of cocaine, Ribeiro said.
The men were then taken to a flat in Tsim Sha Tsui, which police suspected was being used as a warehouse to store the drug. They discovered 146 kilograms of cocaine stored inside the flat.
Ribeiro said the 29-year-old man from Venezuela and the 53-year-old from Hong Kong were the core members of two drug trafficking syndicates.
'Our investigation found that the Venezuelan was responsible for guarding the warehouse and for distributing the drug stored there to buyers,' he said.
The Hong Kong man was a buyer representing another syndicate who was dealing with the Venezuelan.
Ribeiro believed that the Venezuelan man started operating his syndicate at the beginning of this year. He said a small amount of drugs distributed by this group might have entered the market already.
The two men who were arrested would be charged and would appear in court tomorrow.
The latest case highlighted authorities' concerns about growing recreational drug use, Ribeiro said. He added that police would liaise closely with their counterparts on the mainland and overseas to combat this drug problem. Police said late last night they had charged two men in connection with a large seizure of cocaine. They would appear in court on Monday charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug.