Hong Kong customs smash drug syndicate in 131kg cannabis seizure

Officers raid property in Tsuen Wan, uncovering HK$21.5 million of suspected cannabis buds

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 May, 2017, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 May, 2017, 12:05am

Hong Kong customs officials have smashed a suspected drugs syndicate with the city’s fourth multimillion-dollar seizure of cannabis this year.

Officers swooped on a logistics depot in Tsuen Wan where they arrested three men who had come to collect 131kg of suspected ­cannabis buds worth HK$21.5 million.

Of the three arrested, aged 26, 41 and 60, two were unemployed while the other was a transportation worker.

Largest Hong Kong cannabis haul in 10 years nets 180kg worth HK$29 million

Hui Wai-ming, head of the customs drug investigation ­bureau, said officers were pleased the ringleaders of the trafficking gang had been arrested.

“They are the core members of the syndicate. They are professional, but not as professional as customs,” Hui said.

They are professional, but not as professional as customs
Hui Wai-ming, customs official

Officers were still trying to uncover the source and the destination of the drugs, but “we don’t rule out the possibility of further arrests or seizures”, Hui added. “Customs will work closely with overseas law enforcement.”

The department had been monitoring the drug trafficking syndicate from the start of the year. Intelligence gathering pointed to a large consignment that would be imported from North America later in the year.

Surveillance operations were ramped up last Saturday after the discovery of a sea container’s ­arrival from Canada.

According to customs, the syndicate attempted to hide the parcels from authorities, with the boxes labelled “personal items”, placed in a container and mixed with parcels headed to other ­destinations.

The boxes were transported to a logistics company’s depot in Tsuen Wan where they were due to be collected. Last Monday customs found out the trio were collecting the consignment and so raided the location.

Hong Kong police seize HK$43 million cocaine haul stashed in car

According to the latest drug users report by the Security Bureau’s Narcotics Division, published in March, the overall number of drug users in the city had fallen from 8,767 to 8,077 in the preceding year, while cannabis users rose from 349 to 427.

At the start of the year, police officers seized 180kg of cannabis buds worth HK$29 million during a raid in a village in Yuen Long.

Last month, police confiscated cannabis plants with a street value of HK$30 million in Sheung Shui.

In February, police seized more than 500 cannabis plants and 1.1kg of cannabis buds from a Yuen Long house. A man and a woman were arrested.