Hong Kong Customs seizes 15kg of liquid cocaine from Brazil

A male passenger arrived in Hong Kong from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Amsterdam, the Netherlands yesterday. During Customs clearance, six personal hygiene product bottles containing the batch of suspected liquid cocaine were found inside his check-in suitcase. He was then arrested.

The arrested man, aged 30, has been charged with one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug.

Source: HK Customs and Excise Department

Two South Asians nabbed in year’s largest drugs bust

Two South Asians – a Pakistani man who is a Hong Kong resident and a Bangladeshi man – have been arrested by police in Fan Ling when they seized 178 kilograms of illegal drugs worth HK$170 million in fruit juice cartons at a warehouse in On Lok Village.

This, the police said, is the largest drug haul this year.

The suspects will appear in the Fan Ling Magistrates’ Courts today

Police found 88 kilograms of ice, 82 kilograms of heroin, and eight kilograms of ketamine.

The Pakistani and the Bangladeshi are suspected to be involved with a transnational drug trafficking ring.

Source: The Standard

Drug mules caught in Hong Kong taking bigger risks, swallowing cocaine pellets in greater numbers

International drug couriers caught in Hong Kong last year continued to put their lives at risk by swallowing ever-larger quantities of cocaine pellets.

On average, “drug mules” arrested in the first 11 months of 2019 for smuggling ingested drugs were found with an average of 642 grams of cocaine inside them, up from 571 grams over the same period the previous year.

Source: South China Morning Post

Hong Kong dishes out severe punishment for drug mules while gang leaders remain free

Low-level drug mules are convicted at a rate of more than one a day in Hong Kong’s High Court while only one gang organiser or senior syndicate member is sentenced every eight months, a study provided to Post Magazine shows.

An analysis by former deputy director of public prosecutions John Reading SC found that of 1,619 traffickers convicted from 2012 to 2015, only six were organisers or senior gang members, while 1,519 (or 93 percent) were couriers, apprehended either in Hong Kong or while trying to enter or leave the city. The remaining 94 cases mostly involved so-called storekeepers caught with drugs in Hong Kong.

Reading’s study also found that sentences for drug-trafficking offences were more severe in Hong Kong than in the 17 other jurisdictions surveyed, with a 22-year starting point for trafficking offences involving 1kg of a class-A drug compared with 20 years in Turkey, 15 to 20 years in Slovakia and 10 to 17 years in New York.

Hong Kong was the only jurisdiction surveyed, apart from Iceland and Austria, not to consider the role and seniority of the offender in the sentencing process. Hong Kong was also one of only six jurisdictions where previous good character was not recognised as a mitigating factor.

The average sentence over the four-year period in Hong Kong was nine years and nine months, while the highest sentences given out were to a 37-year-old sentenced to 32 years for trafficking 33.6kg of cocaine, and a 45-year-old sentenced to 33 years and six months for trafficking 11.9kg of cocaine and 410 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Because 16-year-olds are tried in adult courts in Hong Kong, prosecutions over that period included 82 minors. All but two received substantial jail terms and cases included a 16-year-old sentenced to 17 years for trafficking 1.9kg of ketamine.

“The heavy sentences imposed for the offence in Hong Kong have not resulted in a significant reduction in drug trafficking cases over those years,” Reading concluded.

Source: The Star, SCMP