Asylum seeker caught with crystal meth worth HK$1 million by Hong Kong customs officers

Drugs were found hidden inside an industrial metal roller, sent to the city from Africa

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2018, 5:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2018, 6:07pm

An asylum seeker from Africa was arrested by Hong Kong customs officers in the early hours of Wednesday following the seizure of HK$1.1 million of crystal meth.

Initial information showed 2kg of the drug, also known as Ice, was found hidden in the hollow centre of an industrial metal roller that was airmailed to the city from Equatorial Guinea, Africa, on Monday, according to a law enforcement source.

An investigation showed the 42-year-old man, who came to the city from Benin, Africa several years ago, picked up the parcel from a logistics company’s employee in Yuen Long soon after 9pm on Tuesday.

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Plain-clothes customs officers on patrol in the area found the man acting suspiciously and placed him under surveillance.

The source said the man kept walking around the area for about three hours in an apparent attempt to evade officers before being intercepted on Cheong Shing Path soon after midnight.

Inside the parcel the man was carrying at the time, customs officers found a 60cm-long industrial metal roller that weighed about 13kg.

“Two kilograms of the drug Ice was found hidden inside the hollow centre of the metal roller,” the source said.

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As of 4pm on Wednesday, the suspect was still being held for questioning and had not been charged. The investigation was continuing.

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

According to official statistics, local authorities seized 217kg of crystal meth in the first six months of this year, a 90.4 per cent rise from 114kg in the same period last year.