Male model and Australian man arrested as customs seize date rape drug GBL intended for Hong Kong party district Lan Kwai Fong
HK$1.9 million worth of contraband, including bottles of gamma-Butyrolactone, believed to be meant for distribution at entertainment venues like Lan Kwai Fong
A male model was arrested and a large quantity of a date rape drug, believed to be intended for Hong Kong’s nightlife district Lan Kwai Fong, was seized on Monday.
An Australian man was also detained after customs closed down a drug distribution and packaging centre on Monday, seizing HK$1.9 million (US$242,000) worth of contraband.
The haul included bottles of gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), often used as a date rape drug, as well as more than HK$300,000 in cash, according to the Customs and Excise Department.
As of noon on Tuesday, the two men – a Hongkonger, 30, and an Australian, 53 – were being held for questioning.
Customs officers at the airport’s cargo terminal found 10 litres of GBL hidden in a parcel that arrived from Lithuania on Saturday. The liquid was worth about HK$200,000.
At about 6pm on Monday, customs officers posing as couriers carried out a controlled delivery of the parcel to a flat on Peel Street in Central, where the two men were arrested. The building was about 500 metres from Lan Kwai Fong.
“Inside the flat, 3kg of the drug Ice, three litres of GBL and 2kg of various illegal drugs such as cocaine, cannabis buds and resin, and Ecstasy were seized along with some tablets of suspected stimulants and packaging equipment,” a customs officer said.
The drugs had an estimated street value of HK$1.7 million. More than HK$300,000 in cash and a money counter were also seized from the flat, which had been leased for more than six months.
“We are still investigating how long it had been used as a drug distribution and packaging centre, and we are also looking into the source of the drugs,” the officer said.
He said initial investigations showed the drugs were intended to supply entertainment venues in Central, such as Lan Kwai Fong.
This was the second seizure of the date rape drug from Lithuania in less than three weeks. On April 27, customs officers intercepted a parcel at the Cheung Sha Wan office of an express courier company and seized 25 litres of GBL solvent. In a follow-up raid at an industrial flat in Kowloon Bay the same day, officers arrested two men and seized a litre of GBL and five grams of suspected crystal meth. The drugs had an estimated street value of HK$500,000.
Customs officers are investigating whether the two cases are linked.
Hong Kong classified GBL as a dangerous drug in 2012.
In Hong Kong, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.