Hong Kong police seized an estimated HK$8.3 million (US$1.1 million) worth of illegal drugs including crack cocaine when they raided and closed down a new manufacturing plant operating from a remote village house in the New Territories.
A 29-year-old man was arrested during the Narcotics Bureau operation in Tai Po on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Inspector Ng Ka-lun of the bureau said on Thursday that officers moved on the village house after identifying it as a narcotics factory run by a drug-trafficking syndicate.
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Officers stopped the suspect when he left the property shortly before 4.30pm and found two grams of crack cocaine on him, according to the force.
Police escorted the suspect back into the house from where they confiscated 1.6kg of cocaine, 3.59kg of crack cocaine and 1.65kg of ketamine along with soda powder, electronic scales and measuring cups. Also seized were electric appliances such as a fan, oven and dehumidifier that were used to dry the finished products.
“The retail value of the illicit drugs was about HK$8.3 million,” Ng said, adding that police had successfully prevented this batch of narcotics from entering the market.
He said officers believed the plant had been operating since mid-October, adding the investigation was continuing and further arrests were possible.
As of 11am on Thursday, the suspect was still being held for questioning.
Police said the suspect was likely to be charged with drug trafficking and manufacturing – offences punishable by up to life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.
In the first six months of 2021, local authorities seized 1,320kg of cocaine, a 137 per cent rise from 556kg in the same period the year before. Seizures of ketamine also rose by 340 per cent to 1,087kg between January and June this year from 247kg in the same period last year.
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