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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong customs officers arrest 331 suspects in HK$280,000 smuggling crackdown over ‘Golden Week’ break

In separate operation, five tourists arriving from Cambodia were caught at airport with HK$3 million in suspected ketamine

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 8:55am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 October, 2017, 8:55am

Hong Kong customs officers arrested 331 suspects in a crackdown against cross-border smuggling during the National Day “Golden Week” holiday period.

The 282 men and 49 women, aged from 18 to 84, were rounded up as customs officers stepped up enforcement actions at various land boundaries and railway and ferry control points during the 10-day operation from September 30 to Monday, according to the Customs and Excise Department.

During the crackdown, about 52 grams of suspected cocaine, 15 grams of crystal meth (also known as Ice), about 83,000 contraband cigarettes, 42 grams of dutiable tobacco, 414 grams of dutiable cigars and 22 litres of dutiable liquor were seized.

According to the department, the seizures had an estimated street value of more than HK$280,000, with a duty potential of HK$160,000.

Separately, customs officers at Hong Kong International Airport arrested five tourists arriving from Cambodia and seized 10kg of suspected ketamine – worth about HK$3.08 million – that had been strapped to their bodies.

The five men, aged from 17 to 22, arrived from Siem Reap on Tuesday, intending to depart for Taiwan, according to the department. Investigations are ongoing.

“Hong Kong Customs will continue to strengthen cooperation with other law enforcement agencies to combat transnational drug trafficking activities,” a spokesman for the department said.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries the maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine. Possessing, selling and buying illicit cigarettes carries a two-year jail term and a HK$1 million fine under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance.