Drug seizures jump sharply in first three months

Figures show police netting more of most types of drugs, while overall crime dips 5.2 per cent

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 May, 2013, 4:01am

Police and customs drug seizures have surged in the first three months of the year, figures show.

There was also a strong rise in seizure of fake credit cards and yuan notes in the second half of last year.

Statistics from the government's Fight Crime Committee showed that 11kg of cannabis was seized in the first three months of 2013, 4.5 times the amount found in the same period last year.

The amount of cocaine seized was 62kg, compared to 16 kilograms seized in the first three months of 2012.

Ice hauls amounted to 26kg, up from 10 kilograms, while ketamine and heroin seizures rose 47 per cent and 43.6 per cent.

Only ecstasy recorded a fall, from 937 tablets to just one.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok attributed the increased seizures to closer co-operation among Hong Kong, mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies in intelligence exchanges.

Overall crime fell from 18,517 cases recorded to 17,556 cases, a 5.2 per cent drop. Homicide doubled, however, from five to 10 cases. Rape rose 60 per cent, from 22 to 35 cases.

Deception cases rose 11.5 per cent, to 1,739 in the first three months. Indecent assault cases rose 18.4 per cent to 367.

The number of arrests of young people - those aged 10 to 15 and 16 to 20 - dropped 20 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Lai said half of them were involved in triad-related crimes and robberies.

He said police were very concerned and would step up patrols in places frequented by young people.

Police also seized 9,312 counterfeit credit cards in the second half of last year, up by a multiple of 56 from the second half of 2011, committee member Wilfred Ng Sau-kei said.

He attributed the jump to a big case police cracked in which nearly 9,000 cards were seized in a Yau Tong flat in November last year.

Ng also said the 2,827 fake yuan notes were seized in the second half of last year, up 27 per cent.

He attributed the surge to the increased circulation of yuan in the city.

Seizure of fake Hong Kong notes fell 51 per cent to 955.