Hong Kong police have arrested three men and seized more than HK$33 million (US$4.3 million) worth of cocaine believed to be destined for the city’s bars and nightclubs.
The trio, an Israeli merchant, 45, a British man, 25, and a Canadian, 31, were detained at a flat in Cornell Centre on Wing Tai Road in Chai Wan, at about 2am on Thursday.
Superintendent Alan Chung said he believed the three suspects were key members of a transnational drug-trafficking syndicate that smuggled cocaine into the city.
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The Israeli man arrived in Hong Kong about a year ago and then had his travel visa extended to remain in the city, while the other two suspects, who were reportedly unemployed, had Hong Kong ID cards.
Police said four officers were slightly hurt during the operation, as the British man put up a struggle before eventually being subdued and placed in handcuffs.
Inside the flat, officers seized 16kg of finished product, along with 1.4kg of cocaine, bags of baking soda and manufacturing equipment.
According to police, the haul had an estimated street value of more than HK$33 million.
Chung said the drugs were concealed in a transformer which was suspected to have been airmailed into the city from Vietnam several days ago.
“Some components had been removed from the machine to make room for the consignment,” he said. “Cocaine in powder form was stuffed in vacuum-sealed bags and concealed in the transformer before it was airmailed into Hong Kong.”
The vacuum-sealed bags stopped sniffer dogs from detecting the drugs, Chung said.
The three men arrested were on suspicion of manufacturing a dangerous drug, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of a life imprisonment.
Chung said the three men were likely to be charged with the offence and would appear in West Kowloon Court on Saturday.
In the first half of this year, Hong Kong authorities have confiscated 556kg of cocaine across the city. They seized 1,014kg in the same period last year.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Seven held as Hong Kong police seize HK$64 million worth of heroin hidden in coconut powder packs from Thailand
- Hong Kong police launch probe after seizing more than 90 letters containing ketamine and sugar mixture in Wan Chai post office, nearby building
- Hong Kong customs officers seize more than 30kg of drugs in year’s largest airport bust
This article Hong Kong police arrest three men, seize more than HK$33 million of cocaine in predawn raid first appeared on South China Morning Post