2 arrivals in Hong Kong arrested for allegedly carrying 1.4kg of suspected cocaine worth HK$1.4 million

Two travelers who flew to Hong Kong have been arrested for allegedly carrying 1.4kg of suspected cocaine, worth an estimated HK$1.4 million (US$178,765), hidden in their bodies.

The two men were intercepted during customs clearance at Hong Kong International Airport on Saturday after officers determined they were acting suspiciously and believed they may be concealing drugs.

The Customs and Excise Department said on Sunday it had seized more than 100 pellets of suspected cocaine, weighing 1.4kg, which were offloaded from the two passengers.

One suspect was a 36-year-old male passenger who arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday from Montego Bay, Jamaica, via Frankfurt in Germany and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Pellets of suspected cocaine seized by customs. Photo: SCMP

He is said to have 55 pellets of suspected cocaine weighing approximately 800 grams in his body.

The second suspect was a 37-year-old male passenger who arrived in Qatar from Entebbe in Uganda via Doha on Saturday. He allegedly discharged 48 pellets of suspected cocaine weighing approximately 600 grams.

Both men aroused the suspicion of authorities on Saturday when they passed through customs and were escorted to a hospital where they underwent examinations.

Doctors confirmed that both men had foreign objects hidden in their bodies, according to a statement from customs, which did not specify which parts were involved.

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Both men were arrested and the investigation continued. Authorities would not say whether the two cases were related.

The department said it would continue to select passengers from high-risk regions for screening to combat transnational drug trafficking activities, given the increasing number of visitors to Hong Kong.

Trafficking in a dangerous drug carries a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of HK$5 million.

Last month, a female passenger arriving at the airport was found with 1.2kg of suspected cocaine, divided into 85 pellets, in her body. The 38-year-old passenger traveled from Harare in Zimbabwe to Hong Kong via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

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In January, a 30-year-old New York man was arrested and charged with trafficking a dangerous drug. Authorities said he dumped 116 pellets of suspected cocaine weighing approximately 3.5 pounds. The drugs were estimated to be worth HK$1.3 million.

In 2023, customs officers at the airport arrested 100 incoming travelers and seized 233 kg of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of HK$220 million.