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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

None arrested as customs seize HK$28.5m worth of ‘ice’ drug in thermoforming machine

Customs seized 45 kg of the drug “ice” worth about HK$28.5 million in a thermoforming machine arriving from Mexico on Sunday but had yet to arrest anyone connected to the case.
In the early hours of Sunday (Apr 16), customs officers inspected air cargo, declared to be a thermoforming machine weighing 340 kg, which would be further flown to Australia after transiting in Hong Kong.

During the examination, officers found no invoice or operations manual regarding the machine. The information on the list of components was incomplete, and the machine’s model didn’t exist either.

Officers said although the machine looked very new, it was only taped and was not covered in any form of protection like foam board or cardboard box.

The X-ray scanning also raised officers’ suspicion as the image showed two colors, indicating two different substances within the machine.

Officers, suspecting criminals used high-density metal to blur the X-ray image, took apart multiple metal boards and finally discovered 45 kg of crystal methamphetamine, also known as “ice,” in the lower part of the machine.

The drugs were valued at about HK$28.5 million, and the case was passed to customs’ drug investigation group.

There were 225 drug trafficking cases in the first quarter of 2023, up 43 percent from 157 logged in the same period last year. Yet, the amount of drugs stood at 1,363 kg, down 30 percent from last year’s 1959 kg.

Customs believed the figures reflected that drug trafficking syndicates were trying to switch their delivery methods and increase the number of trafficking activities as countries and cities reopened earlier this year.

However, they would reduce the amount of drugs for each delivery to lower the risk of suffering heavy losses.
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