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Drugs

Two arrested as Hong Kong police seize ketamine and cocaine worth HK$60 million 

Two men, believed to have triad backgrounds, will appear at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday charged with trafficking dangerous drugs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 11:02pm

Hong Kong police have arrested two men over the seizure of HK$60 million worth of suspected drugs, including a three-year record haul of 75kg of ketamine. 

The drugs, which also included 20kg of cocaine, were seized from two flats in Tai Kok Tsui during a raid on Tuesday morning. 

Two men, aged 36 and 37, were arrested in the flats during the raid, and will appear at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday charged with trafficking dangerous drugs. 

Investigators said the 75kg of ketamine found was the largest amount seized since 2015 and they believe the haul was intended for sale during the summer, given the large quantity. 

“The syndicate hoped to store some stocks and supply the drugs market in the summer,” said Ng Wing-sze, superintendent of the Narcotics Bureau.

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She added that vacuum sealers found at the scene were believed to lengthen the possible storage period of the drugs. 

Ma Ping-yiu, chief superintendent of the bureau, said some of the drugs might also have been intended for overseas markets. 

Police said they believed the syndicate was local and the two arrested men, who had triad backgrounds, were entrusted with monitoring the storage and delivery of the drugs to buyers.

On Wednesday, Ma said the investigation was still ongoing and the force would not rule out the possibility that more people would be arrested.

He said that in general, the cocaine available in Hong Kong is mostly from South America, and ketamine is usually from Southeast Asian countries.

Ng said the two flats where the drugs were stored were located in a modern-style single residential block that had good security.

“Management of the property is similar to a hotel. [Residents] can only go to the floor where their flat is by tapping a card,” said Ng.

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She believed the choice of building and using two flats to store the drugs instead of one was an attempt to evade police investigation and minimise the loss in case just one of them was raided. 

She said in the past two years, authorities have found drugs in different kinds of buildings, including village houses, industrial buildings and hotels.

“Drug syndicates only have one aim – they hope not to be discovered by enforcement departments,” said Ng. “They use different ways and different locations to cover this up.”

She urged the public and security staff at residential estates to stay vigilant against suspicious behaviour.

“If someone is seen carrying bags at midnight, going in or out [of their flats] frequently … please notify the police,” said Ng.

Last year, police and customs officers seized 131kg of ketamine and 402kg of cocaine. The amount of ketamine seized dropped 53.5 per cent from the previous year, while the quantity of cocaine seized also saw a decrease of 14.6 per cent over the same period.