Five Hong Kong students were among 22 people rounded up following the seizure of HK$34,000 (US$4,376) worth of illegal drugs and liquor in an anti-narcotics operation over the past three days, according to police.
The five suspects were believed to be customers in a mini-storage centre that was converted into an unlicensed pub and karaoke lounge on Ng Fong Street in San Po Kong.
Detectives from the New Territories North regional crime unit picked up the students and 11 others when they raided the premises on Saturday night.
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“The venue was allegedly used to store and tout illegal narcotics and for abusers to take drugs,” a police spokesman said.
Inside the venue, officers seized HK$17,000 worth of illegal drugs, including cannabis buds and some tablets of Ecstasy, along with HK$12,000 worth of liquor.
One of the 16 suspects, a 22-year-old man believed to be in charge of the premises, was held on suspicion of trafficking in a dangerous drug, operating an unlicensed karaoke establishment, selling alcoholic beverages without a liquor licence and violating pandemic-related social-distancing rules banning public gatherings of more than four people.
The other 15 suspects, aged 16 to 26, were arrested for possession of illegal drugs, drinking in an establishment without a liquor licence and violating social-distancing rules.
On Monday, police arrested another six men aged between 19 and 26 on suspicion of selling cannabis on the internet. Officers seized HK$5,600 worth of cannabis during raids.
“The force will continue to crack down on lawbreakers and criminal syndicates who use online platforms to tout illegal drugs,” police said in a statement.
In Hong Kong, trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine, according to police.
Last month, customs officers arrested two daughters of veteran comedian Richard Ng Yiu-hon and seized marijuana plants and products worth more than HK$1 million in two separate raids on their homes in Sai Kung on March 23 and 26.
In 2020, local authorities seized 1,071kg of marijuana in the city, a 186.4 per cent jump from 374kg confiscated in 2019.
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