Four suspected drug traffickers were arrested after Hong Kong customs officers seized about 48kg of suspected cocaine among a shipment of cocoa beans coming from Panama. The haul was worth HK$51.6 million and was sealed in a 20-foot shipping container that arrived in Tsing Yi on Wednesday. After examination, officers found 48 slabs of suspected cocaine inside two nylon bags at the innermost part of the container. READ MORE: Record 62kg liquid cocaine bust at Hong Kong airport worth $65 million: bags of liquid hidden in imported machine sparked investigation Superintendent Kitty Poon Fung-lin from the department’s ports and maritime command said officers found the container suspicious as Panama was not a place of origin for cocoa beans. “The cargo is too filthy to be a food container. The beans are also very pungent which raised suspicions,” Poon said. “The cargo was lighter than it should have been. We also could not find any trading records for the recipient company.” Two men, one local and another from Panama, were arrested at the terminal. Follow-up investigations led customs officers to discover a suspected cocaine manufacturing centre in a residential flat in San Po Kong on Friday. They seized suspected drug-manufacturing equipment, several kilograms of additives and a small amount of suspected drugs in the flat. A local woman and a mainland man were arrested. A source closed to the investigation told the Post that the mainland man came to Hong Kong from Panama a week before the cargo arrived and stayed in a hotel in To Kwa Wan. He is believed to be the leader of the syndicate, and was responsible for the dispatch, delivery and trading of the drugs seized. READ MORE: Drug seizures surge at Chek Lap Kok amid tide of ‘mail order’ shipments from China The cocaine is thought to have been destined for the mainland and Southeast Asia. The four suspects will be charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug and manufacturing dangerous drugs and will appear in Tsuen Wan Court on Monday. Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, both drug trafficking and manufacturing are serious offences. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of HK$5 million. Customs officers seized 1,213kg of cocaine last year, compared with 1,019kg in 2014. They made a record seizure of 62kg of suspected liquid cocaine hidden in an industrial machine imported from Colombia via the United States in December.