Customs bust largest airborne trafficking case, find HK$147m cocaine in transformer

Local | 25 Nov 2021 4:12 pm

Customs busted the largest airborne drug trafficking case in 20 years last week, where officers found HK$147 million of cocaine in a gigantic transformer mailed to the city by air. 

After investigation, customs believed the logistics companies involved were used by a syndicate to deliver the drugs to Australia by taking a lengthier route. 

Officers were examining airmail items on Sunday last week (Nov 14) when a transformer weighing 855kg arriving from Guatemala came to their attention. According to past experience, transformers are rarely delivered to the city by airmail, and Guatemala is not a major exporter of large transformers. 

Officers then opened the wooden container to inspect the transformer and ran an X-ray scan. The images revealed that there were objects neatly arranged within the transformer, which raised officers' suspicion. 

Customs disassembled the transformer and found packs of white bricks wrapped in aluminum foil hidden in a secret compartment. The white bricks tested preliminarily positive for cocaine. A total of 111 cocaine bricks weighing 145kg with an estimated value of around HK$147 million were seized. 

In the second case, customs intercepted and inspected a circuit tester weighing 119kg from Mexico on Friday last week (Nov 19). The so-called circuit tester was actually composed of a simple circuit board and a hefty base without any plug, brand name, or model. 

Officers also ran an X-ray scan and disassembled the base to find 20kg of methamphetamine, also known as "ice", with an estimated value of HK$16 million. 

The drugs seized in the two cases were worth about HK$164 million altogether. 

A 34-year-old logistics worker and the 43-year-old manager of the logistics company were arrested on Thursday last week (Nov 18) after customs found suspected cocaine in the transformer. Another man was also arrested following the circuit tester case. 

After investigation, police found that the trio was not linked to the drug syndicate and released them. 

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