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Crime

Hong Kong police arrest seven and seize about HK$20 million worth of cash and drugs in organised crime crackdown

Arrests in Chai Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui part of joint operation Thunderbolt 18, which is targeting criminals in Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 3:44pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2018, 12:42am

Hong Kong police have seized about HK$20 million (US$2.5 million) worth of cash and drugs in seven arrests over the past three days as part of the wider Thunderbolt 18 operation against organised crime.

On Monday night, police arrested three suspected drug traffickers and confiscated almost HK$2 million worth of drugs in two separate raids in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Two of the suspects, a Nigerian man, 33, and an Indonesian woman, 28, were picked up in a Chungking Mansions flat in Nathan Road.

Inside officers found 1.9kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of HK$1.9 million.

At the same time, officers intercepted another man, 27, outside nearby Mirador Mansion and found HK$80,000 worth of illegal drugs in a rucksack he was carrying.

The drugs included 13 stamp-sized doses of LSD, 296 grams of cannabis resin, and 32 grams of crack cocaine, along with 37 tablets of ecstasy.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the three suspects were still being held for questioning and had not been charged.

Separately, officers arrested two men, aged 24 and 26, and seized cocaine worth HK$7.5 million along with HK$2.2 million in cash from a Chai Wan flat on Sunday. The two suspects were charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug on Tuesday.

Elderly sisters arrested for running sex ring out of luxury Hong Kong flat

At about 3pm on Tuesday, officers from Mong Kok district also seized 35kg of cannabis buds worth HK$8 million in a flat in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Two Canadian Chinese men, aged 48 and 55, who arrived in the city recently and were suspected of having links to triads, were arrested at the subdivided flat in Tsim Sha Tsui Mansion on Nathan Road. Authorities suspect the flat was used as a drug packaging den. Officers said they believed the operation had smashed a drug distribution centre for West Kowloon.

The arrests over the past three days were part of an annual joint operation against organised crime and triad gang activity by police from Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau that kicked off on May 15 and lasts three months.

On the first day of the joint operation, officers from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau arrested two elderly sisters suspected of running a prostitution ring out of their luxury Mid-Levels home. Police seized HK$10 million in cash inside the flat.

A website operated by the ring carried pictures of expat women who worked as prostitutes, promoting all-day high-quality escort and massage services for upwards of HK$7,000 per session.

According to official statistics, local authorities seized 402kg of cocaine last year, down 14.6 per cent compared with 471kg in 2016.