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Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

Airmailed cocaine leads to HK$2 million haul and arrest of three Indonesian asylum seekers

Parcel from Brazil declared to contain table decorations intercepted, then delivered to a flat in Yau Ma Tei

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 6:22pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 6:22pm

An airmail parcel from Brazil found to contain one kilogram of suspected cocaine led customs officers to the arrest of three female asylum seekers from Indonesia and the seizure of another kilogram of the illegal drug in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The parcel, declared to contain table decorations, was chosen for inspection at the cargo terminal of Hong Kong International Airport after arriving from Brazil on Saturday.

A source said the parcel contained 17 candles as well as the suspected cocaine. “The illegal drug wrapped in aluminium foil was found concealed in the middle of the candles,” he said.

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He added officers found one kilogram of suspected cocaine in total inside the parcel.

The arrest of the three women was made when a customs officer posing as a delivery worker was deployed to deliver the parcel to a subdivided flat on Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei at about 11am on Tuesday.

It is understood the three are Indonesian nationals, aged between 29 and 31, and have been seeking asylum in Hong Kong since 2013.

Inside the flat, officers seized another kilogram of suspected cocaine.

According to the Customs and Excise Department, the total seizure had an estimated street value of HK$2 million.

“We believe the consignment was meant for local consumption,” another source said. “The subdivided flat was used for temporary storage.”

Officers from Customs’ Drug Investigation Bureau were investigating.

Figures showed cocaine seizures rose by 20.8 per cent to 145kg for the first four months of this year compared with 120kg over the same period last year.