• Mon
  • Nov 24, 2014
  • Updated: 4:38pm
NewsHong Kong

Drug dealers selling more to ESF school students in Hong Kong: police

Cash-rich pupils buying cannabis; three peddlers arrested in six months

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 April, 2013, 12:34am

Police have warned of "an alarming increase" in drug dealers who sell to schoolchildren - in particular, those at English School Foundation (ESF) schools.

The trend has been growing over the last six months, police say, with three drug peddlers arrested.

A police source says the sale of cannabis is a lucrative trade for dealers and a way to make "easy money" but investigators do not suspect it is organised by triad gangs.

"From our investigations, it's clear that ESF schools have all got the problem, as their pupils generally have more disposable cash," the source said.

"There's been no link between the people we've arrested. These dealers will just buy the drugs themselves and sell it on for a profit."

"Chinese dealers, in particular, tend to handle transactions in their cars. Pupils get the dealer's phone number from friends, then arrange to meet at a certain place. The car will arrive, the pupil will get in and then they'll drive around the corner. Once the transaction is over, the pupil alights."

Those customers could be as young as 14 years old, the source added.

"We have arrested a few of these dealers but there's definitely been an alarming rise in this in the past six months," the source said.

"We're seeing a lot more action, especially that [modus operandi] of using a car. Dealers obviously think it's a safer way of doing a sale and not attracting attention."

The police claims are backed by observations by the Kely Support Group, a non-government-funded, fully bilingual youth charity that specialises in helping drug and alcohol addicts. Teenage drug use across the board was escalating, the group said.

"Based on our consultations and work in the community, there is wide speculation that hidden [or secret] drug abuse among the youth is on the increase in Hong Kong," Kely executive director Chung Tang said.

He also believed that the method of selling drugs to pupils in cars was not new in the city, and that from their experience the practice had been going on for the last few years.

An ESF spokeswoman said all its schools had a thorough drug policy in place, and that it was reviewed regularly. Drug education was part of the secondary school curriculum and police would be called if dealers tried to push drugs to pupils, she added.

Police made 5,371 arrests for drug offences last year. Of those detained, 913 were under 21 years old, official figures show.


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This article is now closed to comments

What a lot of nonsense. John Carney: you have been duped by someone in Government to target ESF students, and the motive is racial because the Government has been down on ESF ever since the unscrupulous Arthur Li picked on them in order to garner popular, bigoted support for his ambition to become Chief Executive.
Where is your objectivity? Why don't you look at the drug crime figures in all schools across Hong Kong? If you do, you will find that the worst areas of drug abuse are in low income families. Learn to be a real journalist and investigate for yourself instead of trotting out the rubbish you are fed.
"From our investigations, it's clear that ESF schools have all got the problem, as their pupils generally have more disposable cash," the source said.
Clearly no agenda there from your "source". Pathetic.
This kind of 'journalism' is more at home north of the border.
"The trend has been growing over the last six months, police say, with three drug peddlers arrested." -- So, because they've caught people it means it's only just started. Right.
What a load of **** this article is. The SCMP has known drug usage is prevalent throughout Hong Kong students and that ESF 'drug' usage is nothing new. The headline reads as if ESF kids are taking crack cocaine for God's sake.
And if parents do think weed is as bad as crack, maybe one day some of the parents in Hong Kong will realise that spending TIME with your children is much more valuable than spending MONEY on them.
This money being spent on 'drug and alcohol education'? Anti-drug videos watched in high school (yes, ESF) only made 'them' want to try the drugs. Which they did. Their extensive drug testing they used on us to stop kids from smoking weed? It only made kids move to harder drugs to avoid detection - urine tests show weed abuse of up to 8 weeks, while harder drugs stay for a few days.
Fail anti-drug policy ESF dating back at least 30 years, fail anti-drug policy every other school dating back at least 30 years. Fail article. Which leads me to agree with other posters that this in fact has an ulterior motive.
As a current ESF students, I have a strong feeling that this article is bias towards ESF students, especially when Renaissance College is shown in the picture that is now removed (and still can be seen when selected most recommended comment in the comment section). The use and abuse of narcotics is not exclusive to ESF students. Moreover, through the information of peers, I learnt that the 3 students who were arrested are non-ESF students, but from other international schools, and certainly not Renaissance College. It is apparent that the source of this article is unclear and inaccurate.
To my knowledge, students in non-ESF international schools are more vulnerable to the exposure to narcotics, esp. cannibis, as they usually have greater degrees of freedom and disposable income compared to ESF students, simply due to the difference in school fees. However, as mentioned before, I do not believe that the abuse or use of narcotics is exclusive to international students, there is an incline towards international school students buying and using cannibis due to the extra disposable income, but local school students are exposed to cigarettes and nicotine, which is illegal to students in secondary school and harmful to health, but are limited due to the high prices of the drug. And schools do tackle these issues with different strategies such as inviting police officers to go over the consequences of not only illegal drugs, but also underage alcohol and nicotine abuse. Though...
I'm an ex-Island School student. This problem doesn't seem very severe, and its been going on for a very long time anyway. If the SCMP thinks this is a big problem, they took far too long to report on it. To be fair, cannabis is used in certain states and in Canada for medicinal purposes. The misuse is not as serious as with drugs like methamphetamine. I do not condone the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
I feel that the educational groups that we get in ESF schools are USELESS! Not only do they bore the students with poor knowledge and presentation skills, but they fail to present a convincing article, often utilizing poor jokes that leave an awkward air of silence and take the seriousness of the problem out of the session. To be fair, not everyone is willing to listen regardless of how good the drug education is, if we rely on nothing but seminars.
From my experience in anti-drug campaigns, I believe it is crucial to have former drug abusers talking to such students, even if its for a relatively harmless drug such as cannabis.
If you want to solve these "problems" including those mentioned in the comments below, crack down on fake IDs, make parents more liable for the irresponsible actions of certain students, and have an environment that actually nurtures the idea that drugs are bad as early as in Year 3 (Primary School).
Hey, ex esf school stufent here, I would like to let you know that you guys are idiots.
@caractacus Dont **** what you dont know.. You are the one that is racist.. as a LONG time student being a part of the ESF education system I can gladly tell you that SIS (south island) and Shatin College were notorious for the amount of cigarette smoking druggies around campus, but this was not just the popular kids, everybody was corrupt.
Drugs have been around ESF schools for generations.. I Started drugs at the age of 15 in my school, but only a few of us, we were the only ones. by the time year 12/13 came around of course.. anyone who was allowed out drinking... you know...would start blazin up. its standard.
Believe me, after year 13.. everyone smokes! girls, guys, nerds, a* students. just as harmless fun ofcourse.
...The thing about nowadays is that just about any kids are starting to have access to drugs at school. BIG CONCERN I hear my little cousins talking about how they smoked up in the bathroom at school.. Their only 14! I tried to figure out what had happened to these schools and ive realised, when I was 14.. We could not afford Weed. We could not afford cigarettes. we would chip in and save up enough for $2 cigarettes from chung king and $50 for some dirty hash so we could get high!
You cannot stop kids from doing drugs. people tried and I smoke everyday and will for the rest of my life. but exposing kids to it will help them learn about it more than any
...I do not disagree with the fact that there are minorities in schools, no matter international or not, that buys, sells and uses drugs. But I would like to see some statistics about the "increase" in deals to ESF students and international school students. However, in my opinion it is simply just an increase in discovery but not the actual increase in number of deals.
OldPeak Toad
Once we finally learn to differentiate between 'drugs' and cannabis, this 'alarming increase' would not be worth a headline!
........... leap van ever will. most kids are bored and concentrate on studying now that they have tried all the drinking and drugs for the first time without being held back or told no.
And about the cars and their dealers.. Been around for agesss. some individual, some as groups. girls, guys, all Chinese. They have evolved their product, packaging and method of transport in the last few years.. but disappointingly the prices have increased. Drug Dealers are not the ones pushing drugs on students. its other students. BUT that only introduces it to them.. weed.. the MAIN reason people consume it is stress. you may not be an expert on the plant and its healing properties but the one thing it does to you as for any reason an alcohol of medication is taken and is to relive something.. weed relieves stress. so if your friends introduce you to drugs.. their not the ones who make you do it. its really kinda the teachers and/or your parents that give you that extra Push to go use some drugs.. thanks guys.



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