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Hong Kong Customs seizes dangerous drugs worth about $970 million at airport in first half of this year (with photos)
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     Hong Kong Customs stepped up enforcement at Hong Kong International Airport from January to June this year to combat the smuggling of dangerous drugs through air cargo and air passenger channels. A total of 604 dangerous drug cases were detected and about 2.3 tonnes of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $970 million were seized. 

     During the period, the amount of dangerous drugs seized and the market value have shown a substantial increase of 81 per cent and 64 per cent respectively when compared with the same period in 2022. The major seizures in quantity order were cannabis (about 572 kilograms), ketamine (about 504kg), methamphetamine (about 436kg) and cocaine (about 241kg).

     Following the resumption of normal travel and exchanges with the Mainland and other parts of the world, the number of visitors to Hong Kong has been increasing steadily. Twenty-six dangerous drug cases were detected through the passenger channel, with arrests of 30 persons and seizures of about 46kg of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $39 million in the first half of this year. A sevenfold and sixfold increase were recorded in seizure and market value respectively when compared to the same period of last year, with cocaine as the major type of seizures.

     Regarding the cargo channel, a total of 578 dangerous drug cases were detected in the first half of this year. Dangerous drugs weighing about 2.25 tonnes with an estimated market value of about $930 million were seized, representing a 78 per cent and a 59 per cent increase respectively when compared to the same period of last year. Among these seizures, the amount of cannabis, weighing about 570kg, was the largest.

     Moreover, the new legislative control of cannabidiol (CDB) came into effect on February 1 this year. CDB is under the same strict control as other dangerous drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (DDO). From the date of commencement of the new regulation to June 30, the Airport Command of Customs has detected a total of 25 CBD-related cases, of which 18 were found in cargo channel and seven were found in passenger channel.

     Among the cases detected at the airport, 67 persons aged between 14 and 76, including masterminds of drug trafficking syndicates, were arrested.

     Customs has all along striven to intercept the inflow of drugs to Hong Kong by adopting a risk management and intelligence-led approach according to the trends in the drug market and smuggling channels. The enforcement figures reflect the remarkable effectiveness of the targeted anti-drug trafficking strategy. The department reiterates that it will continue to make necessary adjustments in deployments in accordance with changes in the drug trafficking trends.

     Customs reminds members of the public not to release their personal data or address to others for receiving mail or goods to avoid having their information used in illegal activities. The public also should not receive mail and goods for others.  

     Hong Kong Customs will continue to take vigorous enforcement action and apply risk assessment strategy to select passengers, cargoes and postal packets for clearance to combat transnational drug trafficking activities on all fronts. Also, Customs will maintain close contact with Hongkong Post and the logistics industries, with a view to intercepting the inflow of drugs to Hong Kong.
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     Under the DDO, trafficking in a dangerous drug is a serious offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $5 million and life imprisonment.
 
Ends/Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:30
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Hong Kong Customs stepped up enforcement at Hong Kong International Airport from January to June this year to combat the smuggling of dangerous drugs through air cargo and air passenger channels. A total of 604 dangerous drug cases were detected and about 2.3 tonnes of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $970 million were seized. Photo shows some of the pillows soaked with suspected methamphetamine and suspected ketamine that was concealed between the interlayers of carton boxes seized.
Hong Kong Customs stepped up enforcement at Hong Kong International Airport from January to June this year to combat the smuggling of dangerous drugs through air cargo and air passenger channels. A total of 604 dangerous drug cases were detected and about 2.3 tonnes of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $970 million were seized. Photo shows some of the suspected cannabis buds seized.
Hong Kong Customs stepped up enforcement at Hong Kong International Airport from January to June this year to combat the smuggling of dangerous drugs through air cargo and air passenger channels. A total of 604 dangerous drug cases were detected and about 2.3 tonnes of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $970 million were seized. Photo shows some of the suspected methamphetamine seized.
Hong Kong Customs stepped up enforcement at Hong Kong International Airport from January to June this year to combat the smuggling of dangerous drugs through air cargo and air passenger channels. A total of 604 dangerous drug cases were detected and about 2.3 tonnes of suspected dangerous drugs with an estimated market value of about $970 million were seized. Photo shows some of the suspected ketamine, which was concealed inside consolidated goods and video recorders.