Hong Kong police arrest four suspects and seize drugs worth HK$830,000 in anti-triad raids

Raids part of joint operation code-named Thunderbolt 18 that earlier arrested two elderly sisters running a prostitution ring out of a luxury Mid-Levels flat

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2018, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2018, 8:38pm

Hong Kong police arrested four people and seized HK$830,000 (US$105,740) worth of illegal drugs when they closed down two suspected drug packaging and distribution centres in Ngau Tau Kok and Hung Hom over a period of six hours on Monday.

The raids were part of an annual anti-organised-crime operation conducted by police from Hong Kong, Guangdong province and Macau that kicked off last week. The operation was scheduled to last three months.

At about 8pm on Monday, officers from the Tseung Kwan O special duties squad intercepted a 60-year-old man when he left a Yee On Street flat in Ngau Tau Kok. Police said he had 29 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, locally known as Ice.

Inside the flat, another 1kg of the suspected drug was seized along with packaging equipment. Police said the haul had an estimated street value of HK$510,000. 

Officers believed the flat was used as a drug distribution centre run by a triad gang.

At about 1.15am on Tuesday, police arrested two men and a woman and seized 260 grams of suspected cocaine worth HK$320,000 along with packaging equipment in a raid on a Hung Luen Road flat in Hung Hom. 

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The four Hongkongers, aged from 32 to 60, were being held for questioning and none of them had been charged.

On the first day of the joint operation, code-named Thunderbolt 18, last Tuesday, officers from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau arrested two elderly sisters suspected of running a prostitution ring out of their luxury Mid-Levels home. Police seized HK$10 million in cash inside the flat.

A website operated by the ring carried pictures of expat women who worked as prostitutes, promoting all-day high-quality escort and massage services for upwards of HK$7,000 per session.

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Separately, a 40-year-old man who arrived from Thailand earlier this week will face a drug trafficking charge in West Kowloon Court on Wednesday.

Customs officers arrested the man and seized 5.2kg of suspected cannabis at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday.

In Hong Kong, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.

According to official statistics, local authorities seized 845kg of cannabis in 2017, up 249.2 per cent compared with 242kg in 2016.