$230m drugs haul brings food for thought

Local | Carine Chow 26 Jul 2021

Customs has cracked three trafficking cases, seizing drugs worth HK$230 million, including cocaine hidden in health food and liquid "ice" mixed inside avocado oil, in a space of 13 days.

The operations were conducted between July 12 and 24, with 278 kilograms of drugs seized. Four men and a woman aged between 31 and 60 were arrested.

Officers first found 72kg of suspected cocaine worth about HK$85 million hidden in 6,865 bottles of maca powder, eggfruit powder and chia seeds in a Fo Tan industrial building on July 12.

The divisional commander of customs drug investigation bureau, Chan Siu-kau, said only 2.6 percent of the batch of goods -180 bottles of maca powder and eggfruit powder - contained the drug. A 43-year-old man who claimed to be a driver was arrested in Sha Tin on July 15 and is out on bail.

Meanwhile, customs officers at the airport seized about 145kg of suspected liquid ice worth about HK$80 million while inspecting an air cargo consignment from Mexico declared as 1,500kg of avocado oil on July 20. A 60-year-old male truck driver was arrested but later released.

Customs also found 61kg of suspected heroin worth about HK$65 million in rice vermicelli seasoning packets while examining a seaborne consignment from Thailand on July 22.

Two men and one woman were arrested on July 23 while they were transporting the goods to a Kwai Chung industrial building. They will appear in Tuen Mun magistrates' courts today.

This year, customs have found 1.4 tonnes of drugs, a 20 percent increase over the first seven months of last year.

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