Hong Kong police have arrested a 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old boy on suspicion of trafficking and manufacturing an illegal drug following the seizure of HK$1.8 million (US$230,000) worth of narcotics in the New Territories. Officers first stopped the teenage boy for an identity check at a housing estate off Tai Po Road in Sha Tin on Monday night, seizing 204 grams of suspected crack cocaine in a paper bag he was allegedly carrying. In a follow-up raid, officers seized 1kg of suspected crack cocaine along with manufacturing and packaging equipment from a flat in the same estate. A 16-year-old girl was inside the premises. “During the operation, HK$1.8 million worth of a dangerous drug was seized,” police said on Tuesday. According to the force, the two suspects were detained on suspicion of trafficking and manufacturing an illegal drug. As of Tuesday morning, they were still being held for questioning. In Hong Kong, trafficking a dangerous drug is punishable by up to life in jail and a HK$5 million fine. On May 11, police released a report detailing the city’s overall crime situation, noting that offences committed by young people fell 37.5 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago. Figures showed that the number of young people arrested for various crimes dropped to 448 between January and March this year, compared with 717 during the same period in 2021. This included 52 people in the 10-20 age range detained for serious drug-related offences. Hong Kong police say youths exploited by vice, narcotics group, despite crime drop But the force said there were still cases where vulnerable young people had paid a high price for taking part in criminal activities. Police highlighted cases in which four 13-year-old male students were arrested on suspicion of trafficking illegal drugs, and 11 girls aged between 12 and 15 were lured into prostitution. Ten of the girls were students and one was not attending school at the time of her arrest. Police described youth crime as a complex social issue that required different sectors of the community to collaborate in the use of education and publicity to help cultivate a law-abiding attitude among youngsters. Local authorities seized 2,859kg of cocaine in 2021, up 128 per cent from 1,269kg in 2020.