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Crime in Hong Kong

Underage teens and suspected triad members arrested in HK$120,000 drug raid at Hong Kong pub

Contraband, including cocaine, ketamine and Ecstasy, was hidden in herbal and ginseng extract drink packages

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 May, 2018, 3:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2018, 10:36pm

Illegal drugs worth HK$120,000 (US$15,287) were found concealed in herbal and ginseng extract drink packages in a Hong Kong pub during a predawn police raid on Friday that saw 39 people, most of them suspected triad members, arrested.

The 23 men and 16 women, aged between 15 and 36, were rounded up in the bar in a Prat Avenue commercial building in Tsim Sha Tsui at about 5am. Six of them – two boys and four girls – were under 18.

Chief Inspector Frances Lee King-hei from the Yau Tsim police district said some of the younger suspects were believed to have been hired to play drinking games with customers or to work as lookouts.

She said the pub did not serve walk-in customers.

“Investigations showed it served only regular clients and their friends, and most of the customers were suspected triad members,” she said.

The Post understands that the regular customers included members of the Sun Yee On and Wo Shing Wo triads.

Anti-triad officers raided the bar before daybreak on Friday, breaking into the establishment after repeated warnings were ignored.

Lee said 39 people were found inside the bar, despite only 26 being allowed inside under the terms of its liquor licence.

“Most of them were found to be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol at the time of the raid,” she said.

The suspects were arrested for offences such as trafficking in a dangerous drug.

Inside the premises, officers found illegal drugs such as crack cocaine, cocaine, ketamine and Ecstasy. The haul had an estimated street value of HK$120,000.

Police raided the bar last year. It ceased operations but was reopened recently.

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Lee said a summons would be issued to the pub’s liquor licence holder because alcohol had been sold to underage drinkers.

With the summer holidays approaching, the chief inspector appealed to young people not to visit such entertainment venues.

As of 2pm, the 39 suspects were being held for questioning and had not been charged.