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Crime

Man arrested as police seize HK$7.5 million worth of cannabis in raid on Hong Kong apartment

Police still on the search for two more people following drug swoop in Tin Shui Wai. The cannabis in the storage centre targeted was intended for entertainment venues across the city

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 3:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2018, 9:00pm

Police arrested a suspected drug trafficker and seized HK$7.5 million (US$957,000) worth of cannabis buds and oil along with nearly HK$700,000 in cash when they shut down a drug storage and repackaging centre in the New Territories on Wednesday.

The initial investigation showed that the centre had been operating out of a Tin Shui Wai residential unit for about six months, with aromatherapy products used to mask the strong smell of cannabis, police said.

A police source said officers were still searching for another two Hongkongers in connection with the anti-drug operation. It is understood the pair include the owner of a car that was believed to have been used to deliver the contraband.

Police said they began an investigation into the local drug trafficking syndicate about a month ago.

On Wednesday morning, officers from the New Territories North regional crime unit laid in wait outside the Tin Wu Road flat in Tin Shui Wai.

Teenager among three Hongkongers busted after cannabis buds worth HK$1.3 million found in parcel from US

Around noon, a 43-year-old man was arrested when he left the flat. Police found on him 500 grammes of cannabis buds and 20 10ml bottles of cannabis oil, along with HK$46,500.

In a follow-up raid, another 34kg of cannabis buds and 41 bottles of cannabis oil were seized inside the flat.

Intelligence showed the seized contraband was for local consumption and intended for entertainment venues across the city
Gladys Tong Hoi-yee, Senior Police Inspector

Police also seized a bag containing HK$650,000 in a car parked outside the building. Officers said the cash was the proceeds of crime and the car was used to deliver illicit drugs.

Senior inspector Gladys Tong Hoi-yee of New Territories North regional crime unit said the haul had an estimated street value of HK$7.5 million.

“Intelligence showed the seized contraband was for local consumption and intended for entertainment venues across the city,” she said.

Detectives are still trying to establish the origin of the drugs.

The source said the investigation showed cannabis buds stored in vacuum-sealed tea bags while being shipped or airmailed into the city from overseas. “It was repackaged in the centre before being distributed around the city,” he said.

As of 1pm on Thursday, the suspect was still being held for questioning and had not been charged.

Separately, a 19-year-old man was arrested at Tuen Mun MTR station at about 7.30pm on Wednesday, carrying 325 grammes of suspected cocaine.

Hong Kong taxi driver arrested after being found with HK$500,000 worth of suspected cocaine

The haul had an estimated street value of HK$390,000.

Trafficking in a dangerous drug is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.

Local authorities seized 149kg of cannabis in the first six months of this year, a 74 per cent drop compared with 583kg in the same period in 2017.