Hong Kong Customs Seize Over 500kg of Crystal Meth

By Joshua Cawthorpe, November 3, 2020

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Hong Kong Customs authorities made the biggest seizure of methamphetamine in the port city’s history. Last Monday, a shipping container bound for Australia arrived in Hong Kong and raised suspicion among customs officials. The initial suspicion was due to the strange route that the container had followed.

The meth container, sent originally from Mexico, went to South Korea and then to Vietnam before arriving in Hong Kong. Upon inspection, the container was declared to contain 1,168 bags of cement. 

Many of the bags appeared swollen but were lighter than bags that were not swollen. An X-ray revealed a suspicious composition to the bags in question. 251 bags were found to contain vacuum-sealed cartons of crystal meth totaling HKD300 million, according to South China Morning Post

The head of the Customs and Excise Department’s drug investigation bureau, senior superintendent Barry Chu Yin-min, said that the 501 kilograms of meth were worth up to five times as much on the streets of Australia.

As of press time, no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

In December 2019, Hong Kong Customs seized 110 kilograms of crystal meth at the Hong Kong International Airport. China Daily reported that the packages, disguised as baby products, had also been sent from Mexico.

With travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, drug traffickers could no longer use ‘mules’ and resorted to concealing narcotics in shipped packages and products.

As a result, Hong Kong Customs saw a 165% increase in drug seizures compared to the first five months of 2019. Another potential cause of the increase is the crackdown on meth production labs in Guangdong province in recent years.

READ MORE: Major Meth Bust in Guangdong

Last May, 217 kilograms of cocaine were found hidden inside of an airplane engine that arrived in Hong Kong from Ecuador.

China also battles drug smuggling in Yunnan province as it borders what is known as the Golden Triangle, a name coined by the CIA for the region spanning Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, which produced most of the world’s heroin in the 20th century, before being overtaken by Afghanistan. 

Authorities in Kunming arrested three suspects on August 31 and seized 23.7 kilograms of crystal meth, according to China Daily.

[Cover via @大公報-大公網/Weibo]

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