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Crime in Hong Kong

Australian tourist in hospital after collapsing from suspected drug overdose in Hong Kong hotel

Officers seize suspected heroin, cannabis resin and crystal meth from scene and arrest her boyfriend

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 2:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 3:25pm

An Australian tourist was in serious condition in a Hong Kong hospital after collapsing from a suspected drug overdose at her hotel room in a popular shopping district in the city on Thursday.

Her 52-year-old boyfriend, also an Australian and holding a Hong Kong identity card, was arrested for drug trafficking after officers seized illegal drugs worth about HK$3,000 inside her room at The Kimberley Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.

By midday Thursday, the 41-year-old woman, who arrived in the city on Monday, had regained consciousness at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei. She was listed in serious condition.

“We are investigating whether she passed out in a suspected drug overdose,” a police source said, adding that she had been placed under 24-hour bedside police guard in hospital.

Police and paramedics were called to the hotel on Kimberley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui at about 12.15am on Thursday, following a report made by her boyfriend.

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According to police, the woman was unconscious when officers arrived, and she was taken to hospital for treatment.

“At the scene, officers seized drug-taking equipment, 2 grams of suspected heroin, 10 grams of suspected cannabis resin, 1 gram of suspected crystal meth and a small quantity of ecstasy tablets,” a police spokesman said.

He estimated the haul had a street value of HK$3,000.

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After investigations, officers arrested her boyfriend on suspicion of trafficking in dangerous drugs. He was still being held at Tsim Sha Tsui police station for questioning and had not been charged.

Detectives from the Yau Tsim police district were handling the case.

Separately, officers arrested a 45-year-old man and seized cocaine with an estimated street value of HK$36,000 along with HK$12,000 in cash during a police stop-and-search on Nathan Road at about 9pm on Wednesday.

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In Hong Kong, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

According to official statistics, local authorities seized more than 1 tonne of illegal drugs in total across the city in the first seven months of this year, down 7 per cent compared with the figure for the same period last year.

But ecstasy tablet seizures rose sharply to 2,643 in the first seven months of this year, from 93 for the same period last year.