Hong Kong customs officers have made the city’s largest-ever cocaine bust, seizing about $98 million worth of the drug Wednesday.
About 1,430 pounds of cocaine coming from Ecuador arrived at a Hong Kong port Wednesday, John Lee, head of the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, announced Friday.
Customs officers followed the record-breaking shipment as it was driven from the port to a location in Hong Kong’s rural New Territories, where it was picked up by two alleged members of a local drug syndicate.
Officers intercepted the truck, which contained 541 slabs of cocaine, each weighing about 1.2 kilograms and arrested the driver and the two men.
Lee said he believed the massive shipment, which was flagged by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for further inspection, was destined for Southeast Asia or mainland China.
Hong Kong customs officials have been working with South American authorities and the DEA since the beginning of the year to halt drug trafficking.
This is the city’s second drug seizure of the week.
A 63-year-old man arriving in Hong Kong from Brazil was thrown behind bars after he allegedly smuggled almost 2 kilograms of cocaine in his specially made underwear and shoes.
Wednesday’s cocaine bust broke last year’s record by about $20 million.
Eight people from the United States, Colombia and Mexico were arrested in September 2011 when 560 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in a suburban warehouse in Hong Kong.
Ecuador, which is between the world’s two largest producers of cocaine, Peru and Colombia, is frequently used by drug traffickers as a point of transport.
Category: Hong Kong