DRUG TRAFFICKING

Hong Kong ‘drug kingpin’ Wong Chi-ping forced to burn meth haul in Indonesia

Indonesian police for gang to destroy US$136 million drugs haul seized from Hong Kong kingpin Wong Chi-ping

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 January, 2015, 6:06pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 January, 2015, 9:04am

Handcuffed and wearing black masks, a Hong Kong man accused of being a drug lord and his gang were on Tuesday forced to publicly burn a US$136-million stash of crystal methamphetamine after their arrests in Indonesia.

Wong Chi-ping and several other suspects were paraded in front of the media, before throwing packets of the drugs into the flames of a giant incinerator in a town just outside the capital Jakarta.

Some 860 kilograms of high-grade methamphetamine were seized from the suspected Hong Kong drug lord in a high-profile raid earlier this month.

Watch: Hong Kong drug lord forced to burn $140m meth in Indonesia

Wong – who prior to his arrest had been wanted in seven jurisdictions across the region – was nabbed by heavily-armed anti-narcotics agents on January 5 during a raid on a transport vehicle carrying the drugs.

Some 42 sacks, each containing more than 20kg of the drug known locally as “shabu shabu”, and a number of vehicles were confiscated during the daylight raid in the car park of a west Jakarta shopping mall.

Three Hong Kong-based Chinese, a Malaysian and Indonesian were also arrested during the seizure, which authorities from the Southeast Asian nation believe originated in Guangdong province.

The province is frequently pinpointed by Indonesian anti-narcotics officials as the source of much of the meth found in the country.

Crime syndicates typically sail the contraband into open waters, before transferring the narcotics into smaller, less detectable boats.

This tactic was employed by Wong, who landed the shipment in Dadap village, west of Jakarta, before moving it into the city by truck, according to BNN spokesman Sumirat Dwiyanto.

In a coordinated strike the same day, Hong Kong police swooped on alleged accomplices of Wong, arresting four residents in locations across the city.

Around HK$1.6 million in cash and valuables worth more than HK$500,000 were seized from the four individuals, who police suspect were laundering money for Wong.

One member of the syndicate remains at large, narcotics bureau acting superintendent Richard Au Yeung Siu-kong told the media following the raid.

Wong – the suspected ringleader of the group – had been hunted for three years by Indonesian police and was wanted in Hong Kong, mainland China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia,

Also known as Ice, methamphetamine has exploded in popularity in recent years – especially in Asia, where the existence of crime syndicates, the raw materials and a ready market has created the perfect conditions for a rise in use of the drug.