By Thai Newsroom Reporters
HONG KONG Customs seized HK$230 million (US$29.6 million or 974.9 million baht ) worth of drugs in three separate busts this month with one being a shipment from Thailand with 61 kilogrammes of heroin disguised as seasoning powder for instant rice vermicelli, Hong Kong authorities said yesterday (July 25).
The three drug busts were carried out during July 12-24 in various districts and Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).
Aside from the 61 kilogrammes of heroin from Thailand, the seizures include approximately 145 kilogrammes of liquid methamphetamine and 72 kilogrammes of cocaine. Four men and one woman, aged between 31 and 60, were arrested during the operations.
In the Thailand-linked drug haul which is Hong Kong’s largest heroin bust in 20 years, customs officers examined a seaborne consignment declared as snacks that arrived on July 22. Approximately 61 kilogrammes of heroin, with an estimated market value of about HK$65 million ( 275.5 million baht), were found concealed in instant rice vermicelli seasoning packets.
Two men and one woman, aged between 31 and 42, suspected to be connected with the case were arrested in Kwai Chung on July 23. The arrested persons face a charge of attempting to traffic in a dangerous drug. They were to appear at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts today (July 26).
Read earlier reports: HK seizes heroin hidden in electrical appliances sent from Thailand
In the first of three large drug busts Hong Kong Customs officers raided an industrial building premises in Fo Tan on July 12. About 72 kilogrammes of cocaine with an estimated market value of about HK$85 million were seized from plastic bottles labelled as healthy food products.
Follow-up investigation led to the arrest of a 43-year-old man in Sha Tin on July 15, who is suspected to be connected with the case. Investigation is ongoing. The arrested man has been released on bail pending further investigation.
In the second case, officers at the HKIA inspected an air cargo consignment declared as avocado food oil that arrived from Mexico on July 20. About 145 kilogrammes of suspected liquid methamphetamine with an estimated market value of about HK$80 million were seized from 288 glass bottles, each carrying around 500 grammes of the drug.
Subsequent investigation resulted in the arrest of a 60-year-old man in Tsing Yi on July 24. Investigation is ongoing.
Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, trafficking in a dangerous drug is a serious offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of HK$5 million and life imprisonment.
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