Largest Hong Kong cannabis haul in 10 years nets 180kg worth HK$29 million

Police believe suspects were putting cannabis buds inside bags at the scene

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 6:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 9:33pm

Hong Kong police have seized their largest haul of cannabis buds in a decade, confiscating on Thursday a 180kg consignment worth almost HK$29 million.

Three men aged between 32 and 41 were apprehended shortly before 10am in a village in Yuen Long during a raid mounted by officers from the Narcotics Bureau.

One of the suspects was intercepted outside a shipping container in an open space near the Tan Kwai Tsuen Road village and the other two were nabbed inside the container, police said.

“We believe they were putting bags of cannabis buds into red-white-blue nylon bags at the time,” Chief Inspector Chan Kong-ming of the bureau said.

He said 328 bags of cannabis buds were found concealed in 10 nylon bags and nine carton boxes inside and outside the container. The container was used by a car washing company before it shut down a few months ago.

“The bags carried 180.5kg of cannabis buds and have an estimated street value of HK$28.86 million,” he said.

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He said the seizure was the force’s “largest single haul since 2007”.

Chan said the cannabis buds were kept in vacuum-packaged bags to suppress the smell.

“We believe the container was used as the storage centre for the cannabis buds,” the inspector added.

Four cars were seized at the scene, and police said three of the vehicles belonged to the suspects. A search for the owner of the fourth car was underway.

We believe the container was used as the storage centre for the cannabis buds
Chan Kong-ming, Narcotics Bureau

Chan said officers were investigating whether the four cars were used to deliver the drugs and the source of the cannabis buds. They were also looking at the distribution network, how long the gang had operated, and what role each suspect played.

The suspects were arrested on suspicion of trafficking in a dangerous drug, an offence carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. They put up minor resistance during the arrest, police said.

The three Hongkongers were being held for questioning, and police said none had been charged.

The raid was made after police received intelligence and following a two-month investigation.

Police figures show seizure of cannabis surged year-on-year by 113 per cent to 224kg in the first 10 months of last year. That compared with 114kg of cannabis in 2015 and 99kg in 2014. In 2007, law enforcement officials confiscated 569kg of cannabis.