The haul, disguised as tea leaves, came from Thailand, say customs officers Customs officers yesterday seized more than $3 million worth of cannabis smuggled into Hong Kong from Thailand. Officers from the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau grabbed most of the haul near Mei Foo Sun Chuen after they intercepted a goods vehicle which was supposed to be transporting artificial plants there at about 4pm. The drugs weighed 26kg and had a street value of about $3.1 million. When officers examined the vehicle they found most of the cannabis in a plastic box disguised as 23 blocks of tea leaves that weighed about 1kg each. The 27-year-old driver, surnamed Tse, was arrested in relation to the seizure. He was registered as the vehicle's owner. After questioning him, the officers took the man to a public housing unit at Shek Wai Kok Estate in Tsuen Wan where they found a further 3kg of cannabis and a small quantity of the drug Ice. Customs officers believe the flat was being used as a storage centre for the drugs. The 75-year-old owner of the flat, surnamed Tsui, was also arrested by Customs. Initial investigations suggested the haul was smuggled into Hong Kong via Myanmar and the mainland. The officers believed the drug originated from Thailand. Meanwhile, the department announced last night that it had cracked 60 cases involving illicit cigarettes in a five-day operation, codenamed Cougar 16, which began on Monday. Officers from the Customs Revenue and General Investigation Bureau, as well as the Special Taskforce, seized a total of 1.5 million cigarettes worth $2.15 million. They have also arrested 46 people aged between 20 and 77. Twenty five mainlanders were among those who were caught selling the cigarettes. Investigations showed that the visitors had entered Hong Kong using two-way permits. During the operation, officers raided six storage centres of illicit cigarettes in Western District, Kowloon City, Hunghom and Mongkok. The seized cigarettes had a duty potential of about $1.2 million. A customs spokesman said last night that they would continue to take similar enforcement action to crack down on illicit cigarette activities. Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, any person convicted of dealing, in possession of, selling or buying illicit cigarettes shall be liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years. The spokesman urged members of the public to call the customs 24-hour hotline, on 2545 6182 ,to report suspected illicit cigarette activities.